Teeth Whitening in Bellaire, TX
Your wedding is steadily approaching, and you need your smile to be the brightest that it can be. Or, maybe you have a crucial business meeting scheduled soon. Perhaps you just want to enhance your smile by whitening your teeth.
While the expense of other procedures may not be in your budget, tooth whitening or bleaching at our Houston dental office is an inexpensive and highly effective treatment to brighten the color of your teeth and give you an enhanced smile that you can be proud of.
Often, patients at the Schultz Center for Smiles who are interested in brightening their smile with professional whitening turn to us with their questions. Listed below are several that our patients often ask us, but you may have others. Please don’t hesitate to call us at (713) 664-6665 so we can arrange an appointment to answer your questions and see if teeth whitening is right for you.
- Am I a candidate for teeth whitening?
- How does in-office Opalescence Boost Whitening work?
- What can I expect with opalescence at-home whitening treatment?
- Do you recommend over-the-counter whitening products?
- Do natural whitening treatments like charcoal work?
- How do you manage tooth sensitivity during teeth whitening?
- How long do teeth whitening results last?
- How do I get started with professional teeth whitening?
Am I a candidate for teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures. Generally speaking, the positive effects of teeth whitening from a dentist can last for up to five years, depending on a particular patient’s overall dental hygiene and levels of exposure to tooth discoloration agents.
Typical candidates for tooth whitening are patients whose teeth have dulled over time from normal wear and tear, stained by coffee, tea, or dark soda, or discolored from cigarette smoking. Teeth that have been discolored to a yellow, brown, or orange shade can—in most cases—be remedied with teeth whitening procedures. We have also achieved exceptional results for patients with stained teeth caused by fluorosis or tetracycline, although the results are not nearly as dramatic.
For patients with hypersensitive teeth, periodontal gum disease, or teeth with eroding enamel, additional treatments may be necessary before they are a good candidate for tooth whitening. We cannot whiten fillings or crowns during the teeth whitening process, so in some cases, they may need to be replaced to match your enamel’s new lighter color.
How does in-office Opalescence Boost Whitening work?
Dr. Jeffrey Schultz, our cosmetic dentist, recommends and offers both in-office and at-home teeth whitening systems. The Opalescence Boost whitening process can be carried out in our offices during a single treatment, which takes approximately one hour.
The Opalescence Boost whitening gel is the most effective whitening agent available. Plus, it also incorporates fluoride and potassium nitrate, agents that can offer additional cavity protection, decreased sensitivity, and stronger enamel. Unlike Zoom or other teeth whitening procedures, Opalescence Boost does not require the use of UV lights or heat, which can both dehydrate and weaken the tooth structure.
First, Dr. Schultz uses a shade guide to find the current shade of your teeth and to measure your progress throughout the whitening process. Next, we apply a protective coating to your gums to prevent any irritation caused by the whitening gel coming into contact with them. We then apply the gel to the surfaces of your teeth and let it work for 15 to 30 minutes. The gel will be suctioned off your teeth gently, and we will repeat the process until we achieve the desired results. In many cases, we can help you achieve your goals for a brighter smile in under an hour.
What can I expect with opalescence at-home whitening treatment?
For the Opalescence at-home teeth whitening technique, Dr. Schultz will start your first appointment by taking an impression of the teeth planned for treatment. After you leave the office, the impression will be used to create a model of your teeth and fabricate the whitening tray. Using the model, the thin, clear whitening tray is constructed to fit perfectly over your teeth with a special reservoir included for the whitening agent.
During your second visit, Dr. Schultz will demonstrate how to apply the whitening agent to the reservoir, as well as how to position the tray in your mouth. The whitening agent is a specially-formulated gel containing hydrogen peroxide and an ingredient designed to reduce tooth sensitivity. The whitening agent and tray are worn for thirty minutes, twice a day, for one week, or until the desired degree of whitening is attained. If the teeth begin to discolor over time, use of the at-home bleaching tray for one day or two will usually restore the brilliance achieved with teeth whitening treatment.
Do you recommend over-the-counter whitening products?
As many patients have noticed, the outcomes yielded by over-the-counter whitening solutions and professional treatments often differ because the products found in stores typically lack the bleaching agents necessary to improve discoloration dramatically.
While whitening strips, toothpaste, and rinses can clean the surface of the teeth and produce a subtle lightening of your tooth shade, they commonly do not reach the inner layers of the enamel where years of staining often penetrate.
If you are not satisfied with the results achieved by over-the-counter whitening products, professional-grade teeth whitening can be a simple and powerful way to lighten the color of your enamel by multiple shades in one session. Containing an effective concentration of bleaching agents that are designed to be gentle on the soft tissues of the mouth, the Opalescence whitening system can produce noticeable results that are immediately apparent.
Additionally, our professional whitening treatment utilizes custom-designed trays, allowing your teeth to make intimate contact with the bleaching gel for more effective results when compared to whitening products sold in stores. We also tailor our in-office and at-home whitening options to your convenience and sensitivity levels for a gleaming smile that you can achieve quickly and comfortably.
Do natural whitening treatments like charcoal work?
According to the American Dental Association, natural bleaching options—such as charcoal teeth whitening and coconut oil teeth whitening—are not currently supported by evidence suggesting that they can safely and effectively whiten teeth. Activated charcoal can be very abrasive and strip the teeth of its natural enamel, potentially causing problems in the future that may require extra dental work.
How do you manage tooth sensitivity during teeth whitening?
Tooth sensitivity can be a relatively common side effect of teeth whitening for some patients. While it will usually subside on its own, there are several ways in which you can manage your sensitivity during and after teeth whitening. Always be sure to communicate your sensitivity levels to Dr. Schultz so he can adjust the concentration of the bleaching gel accordingly, and take the appropriate measures to maximize your comfort during treatment.
If you are experiencing sensitivity after teeth whitening, the following tips can help you manage discomfort:
- Decrease the amount of whitening gel used
- Cut down how often you whiten your teeth (i.e., undergoing at-home whitening every other day, rather than every day)
- Reduce the amount of time you wear your whitening trays
- Use rinses or toothpaste designed to combat tooth sensitivity, such as Opalescence Sensitivity Relief Whitening Toothpaste or Sensodyne toothpaste
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
How long do teeth whitening results last?
Once we help you achieve the desired tooth shade, the results of professional teeth whitening can last between one and five years, depending on a patient’s lifestyle and how often their teeth are exposed to staining agents. Eventually, as the enamel continues to make contact with coffee, red wine, and other products that can cause discoloration, touch-up treatments may be necessary to preserve the initial outcome of teeth whitening.
How do I get started with professional teeth whitening?
You can easily get started with the process by calling our office to arrange a dental exam and cleaning. Ensuring that your teeth are clean and healthy before we begin will produce the brightest, longest lasting results.
To learn more about teeth whitening, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Schultz, please don’t hesitate to contact our practice today.