Is your smile looking dull? If you feel your smile isn’t as bright or dazzling as you’d like it to be, professional teeth whitening can often be an excellent solution—and almost everyone is a candidate! At Hamburg Expressions, cosmetic dentist Jenny Miller, DMD offers take-home and in-office whitening, both of which can help lighten discolored teeth by several shades to reveal a beautiful smile you’ll be proud to put on display.
For more information about our teeth whitening services, we encourage you to continue reading the sections provided below, or simply contact us today to schedule an appointment. Dr. Miller is happy to help you achieve the smile you desire!
- What Causes Teeth Staining?
- Professional vs. Over-the-Counter Whitening
- Take-Home KöR Teeth Whitening
- In-Office Zoom!® Whitening
- Teeth Whitening Results
- Teeth Whitening Cost
- Teeth Whitening FAQs
What Causes Teeth Staining?
Regular consumption of highly-pigmented foods and beverages—such as coffee, tea, berries, and red wine—can contribute to stained or discolored teeth. In addition, poor dental hygiene, tobacco use, certain medications, genetics, and the natural process of aging can also cause tooth yellowing and discoloration over time. Stains on the teeth are an extremely common issue, but never fear—teeth whitening treatments, a popular example of cosmetic dentistry, help patients around the world regain confidence in their smiles every day!
Professional vs. Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening
Buying your teeth whitening products from a store sounds so easy. Since you don’t need a dentist to be involved, you can save a lot of money. Unfortunately, however, many patients find the bleaching effects of over-the-counter systems to be minimal and relatively short-lasting—if any whitening is observed at all. This is generally due to the weaker bleaching formulas that are typical of store-bought products, as well as their inferior application methods.
In comparison to over-the-counter products, the agents used in professional teeth whitening are much stronger, and they remain on the teeth longer due to innovative application technologies. This enables the bleaching agents to penetrate deep into the teeth, and surface stains are removed permanently. Your teeth will always be lighter than they were before you started. Regular professional bleaching actually lightens the natural pigmentation of your teeth. This is much more than over-the-counter whitening products can do.
In short, for the vast majority of individuals, professional teeth whitening is able to achieve superior whitening effects and longer-lasting results than over-the-counter solutions.
Take-Home KöR Teeth Whitening
Take-home KöR teeth whitening involves the use of custom trays designed to fit comfortably and securely over your teeth in order to evenly distribute the bleaching solution while keeping saliva out. The unique chemistry of the KöR whitening agents is what makes the system so effective—it actually restores the ability of the teeth to absorb oxygen, and the oxygen in the whitening gel penetrates deep into the teeth to dissolve stain molecules.
During your appointment, Dr. Miller will provide a quick examination to make sure you don’t have any immediate concerns that need to be addressed. Next, an impression of your teeth will be taken so your customized trays can be created. They will fit snugly over your teeth and look similar to those shown in the image.
Dr. Miller will then provide the advanced KöR bleaching gel and specific instructions that state the frequency and duration to wear the trays. Most patients prefer to wear them overnight, but it’s really up to when is most convenient for you. Simply continue whitening until your teeth are as white as you like, and you can always touch up your smile if you notice that your teeth are continuing to pick up stains.
Most take-home professional teeth whitening products are effective, but Dr. Miller feels KöR whitening is superior—it can lighten teeth by up to 16 shades and even delivers brilliant results to tough tetracycline cases!
In-Office Zoom!® Teeth Whitening
Perfect for busy people due to its efficiency and convenience, in-office Zoom!® teeth whitening can deliver dramatically whiter teeth in only one office visit. The whitening formula contains hydrogen peroxide and is activated by a special light. This potent combination oxidizes years of stains away—often revealing results up to ten shades whiter!
The entire Zoom!® process is simple. First, Dr. Miller will place protective retractors and a napkin to protect your lips, followed by a special rubber coating to form a barrier over your gums. The Zoom!® whitening gel is then applied directly onto the surface of your teeth, and the powerful light is used to activate the gel for deep penetration of the bleaching agents. Throughout treatment, you’ll be able to sit back, relax, and listen to music—and multiple rounds will be done until your desired whiteness is achieved.
After using Zoom!®, your teeth will always be whiter than they were before you started because the enamel and dentin of your teeth is lightened. Over time, you will likely pick up new stains, but you can always touch up your smile with our take-home whitening trays!
How Long Do Teeth Whitening Results Last?
The longevity of teeth whitening results is highly variable based on numerous factors, but most of our patients are able to enjoy their brightened smile for anywhere from 12–24 months before they might desire a touch up treatment. Recommendations for helping to extend your teeth whitening outcome include remaining cognizant of the foods and beverages you regularly consume, as well as refraining from smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products. Of course, maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine and receiving routine dental cleanings at least twice annually also help to prolong results.
Should the time eventually come that you feel you need to consider whitening again, Dr. Miller will be happy to help you decide between an in-office treatment or take-home trays based on your unique needs and smile goals.
How Much Does Teeth Whitening Cost?
At Hamburg Expressions, the average cost of teeth whitening will vary between patients, as we offer several different whitening treatments. Other factors, such as the extent of treatment and nature of the procedure (i.e., whether or not it is performed in-office), can also influence the cost of teeth whitening.
Because we never want concerns about cost to stand in the way of the care you desire, we invite you to explore our practice’s financial options. In addition to accepting most major credit cards and traditional forms of payment, we proudly work with CareCredit®, a third-party lender with low- to no-interest installment plans available for eligible patients. We will further discuss your payment options during your consultation, but we welcome you to contact our office with any questions in the meantime.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Whitening
How can I reduce sensitivity after teeth whitening?
Patients sometimes experience mild to moderate tooth sensitivity following whitening treatments. While this side effect should subside within a few days, there are ways to reduce discomfort in the meantime. Toothpastes and toothbrushes designed for sensitive teeth can be readily purchased over-the-counter, and these can help you maintain a more comfortable hygiene routine. Once the sensitivity subsides, you can switch back to using your usual toothpaste. Using mouthwash with fluoride may also help, as this type of mouthwash is known to strengthen weak or sensitive teeth. If you would like recommendations for specific products, feel free to ask Dr. Miller.
Can I undergo teeth whitening while pregnant?
While there is currently no scientific evidence that teeth whitening can pose harm to pregnant mothers or unborn babies, the procedure does involve exposure to a number of chemicals. Furthermore, some pregnant women report a general increase in gum and tooth sensitivity, which can make the normally gentle teeth whitening process significantly more uncomfortable. As such, Dr. Miller typically advises patients to wait until after they have delivered and finished breastfeeding before pursuing treatment. If you are pregnant and interested in teeth whitening, Dr. Miller can help you weigh your options during your consultation.
Can I whiten my crowns or porcelain veneers?
Porcelain and other high-quality dental restoration materials should not be whitened or bleached. That said, since our porcelain crowns and porcelain veneers are highly stain-resistant and custom-created to match your aesthetic preferences, bleaching or whitening should not be necessary. With good oral hygiene practices, your crowns and veneers should remain white and bright for years after treatment. If you ever feel that your restorations look duller than you would prefer, Dr. Miller can discuss replacement options with you.
What should I eat after teeth whitening treatment?
For the first two to three days after your teeth whitening treatment, you are encouraged to stick to a “white diet,” or a diet without foods or drinks that may stain your newly-whitened teeth. During this time, aim for foods such as pasta, eggs, potatoes, and dairy products, which are both nutritious and low in pigment.
Afterwards, you are free to resume your normal diet. Keep in mind, however, that your teeth can become stained again. To reap the maximum benefits of your treatment, we suggest limiting your intake of coffees, teas, and other darkly colored foods and beverages while making sure to brush your teeth thoroughly and regularly.
Contact Hamburg Expressions
If you have any questions about teeth whitening, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Miller to discover the bleaching option that is best for you, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or contact us online via our request an appointment page.