Tooth Whitening
Washington DC & Bethesda – Chevy Chase

Most people have discolored teeth. Some are more discolored than others. Tooth whitening or bleaching can be used to correct this tooth discoloration and achieve a beautiful smile.

Teeth whitening before and after

Before Tooth Whitening

After Tooth Whitening

Controlled Teeth Whitening

Dr. Marlin in his Washington DC dental office has found the most effective results come from a controlled, in office, teeth whitening process that lightens the darker teeth first and/or concentrates of discoloration within selected teeth. After that, all of the teeth are lightened being cautious not to over whiten them.

In cases of extreme tooth discoloration, dental crowns or porcelain veneers may be the only choice, but because of the relatively low cost of bleaching treatments, teeth bleaching is nearly always worth a try. In many instances where dental veneers are going to be placed, it is necessary to whiten the underlying teeth first.

Chairside Professional Teeth Whitening System

Teeth whitening is safe and very effective. This is usually accomplished in one to two visits. However, it is a precise, intricate process in order to protect the teeth and gums while at the same time controlling the whitening process to obtain the desired, natural looking results. For some patients, take home trays may also be recommended for three to four days as a follow-up process to solidify the results. We will take before and after photos so you, too, can see the dramatic change in your smile.

Prior to scheduling a chair side teeth whitening treatment, we will evaluate the condition of your teeth and decide if this is the best treatment for you. Cavities, leaking fillings, cervical abrasions and even certain medications/health conditions can affect the results. The tone of your teeth may affect the outcome. According to the American Dental Association, “yellowish-hued teeth will probably bleach well, brownish-colored teeth may bleach less well, and grayish-hued teeth may not bleach well at all.” However, some grayish teeth bleach beautifully so it is hard to predict.

If chair side teeth whitening is for you, we recommend a cleaning prior to the actual whitening session. You will be asked to use a special toothpaste for 10-days to 2 weeks prior to your tooth whitening to enhance the results (increase the effectiveness of the whitening agent) and to reduce sensitivity. If you are not eligible for the Chairside Teeth Whitening or prefer an alternative, we can recommend Take Home Whitening Kits.

Take Home Teeth Whitening Kits

Some patients may not be candidates for chair side teeth whitening, but will benefit from teeth whitening via take home teeth whitening kits.

Shortly, your custom bleach tray will be ready for you to pick up. We provide you with a special bleaching agent that you put into the clear trays. With only 30-60 minutes of wear per day, our special bleaching agent removes stains from your enamel in a very short time without altering tooth structure or existing dental work in any way. After your teeth have reached the desired brightness, occasional supplemental treatment may be needed to maintain your new smile.

How is it done?

An impression is taken to make a specialized mouth tray to hold the bleach against the teeth. The material is used each day for 30-60 minutes for a week or two. By the end of this time, significant whitening will occur. In some cases, the change is nothing short of brilliant. For confidence in appearance, bleaching technology allows us to promise improvements in yellowing, aging, or stained teeth. For very severely stained teeth, crowns or veneers may be more appropriate.

NOTE: You must not drink coffee, tea, Coke, or other tannic acid drinks for 72 hours after your last use of the Take Home Teeth Whitening agent…

Side Affects of Teeth Whitening

If they occur, tooth sensitivity and irritation of the soft tissue are both temporary and should disappear in one to three days.

To reduce or eliminate the sensitivity:

  • We supply you with a toothpaste that contain potassium nitrate. Its made for sensitive teeth and should sooth the tooth’s nerve endings.
  • Use over the counter medication (i.e. Tylenol or Advil for a day or two.)
  • If using a Take Home Whitening Kit, stop whitening for a few days. This allows the teeth to adjust to the whitening process
  • If using a Take Home Whitening Kit, use shorter bleaching sessions
  • Ask us about a high fluoride product to help remineralize your teeth.

Note: Darker stains, such as those caused by antibiotics, are more difficult to whiten.