Stained, yellowed, and discolored teeth are usually caused by poor oral hygiene, tobacco use, and chromogens. Smoking cigarettes, vaping, and using other tobacco products turn the tooth enamel yellow over time. Nicotine easily attaches to the enamel and causes discoloration. In addition, poor oral hygiene can yellow the teeth and also leave patients prone to cavities and decay. Coffee, wine tea, berries, tomatoes, and other foods and beverages contain chromogens that stain the teeth.
Chromogens are pigmented compounds that adhere to the tooth enamel and discolor the teeth.
Dr. Catherine Wilder and Dr. Lauren Shepard provide teeth whitening treatment at Katy Smile Design in Katy, TX. As a cosmetic dental treatment, professional teeth whitening reverses years of stains from the tooth enamel for a brighter smile.
Professional vs. Store-Bought Whitening Treatment
Store-bought teeth whitening gels, strips, and toothpaste often do not provide consistent results. If you have sensitive teeth, over-the-counter whitening products with strong formulas can cause increased pain and sensitivity. Alternatively, professional teeth whitening treatment is overseen by dentists to minimize sensitivity and ensure a comfortable experience. Dentists customize each patient’s treatment according to their sensitivity, budget, and whitening goals.
The Benefits of Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening provided by a dentist:
- Brightens the tooth enamel multiple shades
- Provides safe and effective treatment
- Minimizes gum irritation or damage
- Boosts your confidence
- Can last for multiple months
Contact our office if you are interested in receiving professional whitening treatment.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
In-office teeth whitening is ideal when you need to get a whiter smile quickly, like if you have an event coming up. Typically, it takes about an hour in our office. The dentist protects your gums and soft tissue from the whitening gel. We paint the gel onto the teeth and the bleaching agent is activated with a special light. We provide protective eyewear to protect you from the light. The full impact of the whitening treatment is reached in about 24 hours.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening
Take-home whitening is a more gradual process. We take impressions of your teeth to create custom bleaching trays. These trays seal out saliva and ensure the soft tissue is protected. A professional-grade whitening gel is spread into the trays. Since the trays are fitted to your mouth, they give you a nice, even result. Your dentist gives you a timeline for wearing them. Typically, it’s for a couple of hours each day for a few weeks.
Teeth Whitening FAQs
Learn more about professional teeth whitening:
Does teeth whitening cause tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of teeth whitening treatments. Professional whitening treatments are specially formulated to reduce tooth sensitivity and irritation to the gums. We always supervise our patient’s whitening treatment to minimize these side effects.
When will I see whitening results?
Patients can see professional whitening results within 24 hours. Because of this, teeth whitening is a good option for patients going to special events such as weddings, birthdays, and graduations. Whitening results vary depending on the diet of the patient as well as their oral hygiene. We recommend that patients stay away from coffee, tea, and wine. Patients can also maintain their smiles at home and in our office to ensure the best results.
What is the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic staining?
Extrinsic stains are cosmetic stains on the tooth surface that can be easily treated by teeth whitening treatment. Intrinsic stains occur inside of the tooth and can be caused by damage or infection. They can be treated with other cosmetic options like porcelain veneers and dental bonding. Made of porcelain ceramic and biocompatible materials, both veneers and tooth bonding can brighten the look of the tooth enamel.
Request a Dental Consultation
Do you want a brighter smile? Contact Katy Smile Design at 281.843.9814 or schedule a dental appointment with our team online. Katy Smile Design welcomes patients from Katy, Fulshear, Richmond, and other local communities. Please let our dental team know if you have any remaining questions or concerns. They will be happy to assist you.