Having dull or stained teeth can make you self-conscious about smiling or even speaking. Teeth whitening provides an easy way to brighten your smile and boost your self-confidence. Knowing you look your best can help you relax and make the most of any interaction.
While you may have high expectations for a dazzling new smile, your results can vary depending on the whitening system you use. Several types of drug store products provide whitening agents, but the results often take a fairly long time to appear, and they can vary depending on brand and usage. Professional teeth whitening delivers the safest, fastest, and most dramatic results.
You know you’ll get the results you want if you work with a cosmetic dental professional. At Marina Dental Care in San Francisco, CA, Dr. Tracy Chan provides professional-grade teeth whitening services for patients who want to look their best. Dr. Chan delivers safe and dramatic teeth whitening results you’ll be proud to display.
What kinds of stains can teeth whitening remove?
Extrinsic stains are stains on the surface of your tooth enamel, the thin, protective outer layer of your teeth. Professional teeth whitening effectively removes these types of stains. Extrinsic stains result from:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Drinking dark-colored beverages like coffee, red wine, and cola
- Eating dark-colored foods like berries, tomato sauce, and chocolate
- Ignoring oral hygiene
- Naturally darkening or fading due to age
Intrinsic stains occur in the dentin, the inner layer of your teeth, which yellows over time. As your enamel becomes thinner and more transparent with aging, you can see more of the yellowing beneath.
Dr. Chan determines whether teeth whitening can correct your intrinsic stains or if you require a procedure that whitens your teeth from the inside. In some cases, another cosmetic procedure, such as dental veneers, may provide better results.
Intrinsic stains result from:
- Exposure to excessive fluoride during childhood
- Exposure to tetracycline antibiotics younger than age 8
- Physical trauma to a tooth
How does at-home professional teeth whitening work?
At-home professional teeth whitening uses custom-designed bleaching trays manufactured from a mold of your teeth. These individualized molds fit perfectly around every tooth to ensure that you get even coverage on and between all surfaces.
The trays hold a professional-grade whitening solution. You wear the gel-filled trays for up to an hour a day at home. Your teeth will change color gradually, reaching your ideal whiteness within a few weeks.
How does in-office professional teeth whitening work?
Marina Dental Care uses the Philips Zoom!Ⓡ whitening system. This teeth whitening process includes the following steps:
- We thoroughly clean your teeth and gums to prep your mouth
- We coat each tooth with a thin layer of product to protect your gums
- We coat each tooth with the whitening agent
- We shine an intense light on the whitening gel to accelerate the whitening process and improve results
- Dr. Chan observes your whitening process to ensure that your teeth reach your optimal shade at treatment levels that protect your teeth and gums
How do drug store products compare to professional teeth whitening?
Drug store products include whitening rinses, toothpastes, gel strips, and generic trays filled with a whitening gel. While drug store products can provide some teeth whitening benefits, the results won’t match those you can get with professional whitening since they don’t include professional-grade whitening gels. Instead, they have a lower concentration of hydrogen peroxide to protect consumers from damaging their teeth and gums with misuse. These lower levels of hydrogen peroxide require treatment times that last several weeks or longer.
When comparing drug store products with professional teeth whitening, you’ll also find the following differences:
- Professional whitening occurs under the supervision of a dental expert who ensures that the whitening agent doesn’t damage your teeth and gums
- Professional whitening uses custom-made trays for your mouth
- Drug store whitening trays don’t provide a customized fit so the gel may miss some surfaces and in between teeth
- Professional in-office teeth whitening means you don’t have to risk accidentally bleaching your clothes or other surfaces with the bleaching agent. You have to be extra vigilant with home products
- Drug store products deliver results that last only a few months, while professional teeth whitening can last between six months to a year
Find out how professional teeth whitening can make a difference in your appearance and confidence. Call our office today at 415-440-9000 to schedule a consultation.