Professional Teeth Whitening FAQs
Washington DC & Bethesda – Chevy Chase

Is professional teeth whitening for everyone?

Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic procedure done by dentists, but it’s not for everyone and should be carefully controlled so that you are not over whitened until the teeth lose there translucency and end up not looking “natural”. At PDWDC, we control the process with an in-office procedure to make sure that your teeth look natural when you are done. Some people are not a candidate for the in-office procedure, and we offer take home trays, but we monitor your home bleaching to help you make sure that you are not overwhitened. If you’re pregnant, nursing, or have gum disease, cracked teeth, or cavities in the surface you want whitened, some procedures are not recommended, or may need to be postponed. Unfortunately, bleaching won’t lighten crowns, bonding, or tooth-colored fillings.

Should I whiten my teeth or opt for dental veneers? 

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 to prevent the underlying color from affecting the “look” of the veneer.

If I don’t want to whiten my teeth in-office, what are my options?

PDWDC offers take home whitening kits for your convenience. 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. We will monitor your home bleaching efforts to help you make sure that you do not over do it. After your teeth have reached the desired brightness, occasional supplemental treatment may be needed to maintain your new smile.

Will whitening cause tooth sensitivity? 

While whitening can cause some tooth sensitivity, it is transient. We take steps to reduce or eliminate it completely. These steps include using a special toothpaste to soothe the nerve endings of the teeth as well as a high fluoride product to help remineralize the teeth. If you are using a take-home bleaching tray, opt for shorter bleaching sessions if your teeth become too sensitive.

Are there any foods or drinks I cannot have while bleaching my teeth?

You must not drink coffee, tea, Coke, or other tannic acid drinks for 48-72 hours after your last use of the Take Home Teeth Whitening agent.