Brilliant white teeth are hallmarks of a beautiful smile, but any number of factors, such as certain medications, lifestyle choices, genetics and age, can diminish the bright luster of your teeth. Not only can professional teeth whitening improve the luminance of your smile, it can boost your self-image and help you smile more confidently.
Teeth Whitening as an Art:
The key to a vibrant, natural-looking tooth whitening is professionally maintaining the translucency of your teeth. Too frequently, in an effort to make all of the teeth appear uniformly “white”, the teeth are over-whitened, thereby losing their natural translucency. Once this happens, it cannot be recaptured, and the teeth appear chalky. Therefore, we absolutely counsel against using whitening strips, which, when over whitening the teeth can make them appear either chalky white or have a bluish cast. We have treated many patients who have had that problem. In Amanda’s case, we diligently maintained her high translucency while making them appear lighter-just in time for her wedding.
If you would like to brighten your teeth, while maintaining your natural translucency, Dr. Gerald Marlin can help with our advanced in-office teeth whitening services. Call Prosthetic Dentistry of Washington D.C. today at 202-244-2101 to schedule your appointment. We welcome patients from throughout the region and country, including Washington D.C., Bethesda, and Arlington.
Controlled Teeth Whitening
Dr. Marlin has found the most effective tooth whitening results come from a controlled, in-office process that focuses on lightening specific problem areas and darker teeth first. After that, all of the teeth are lightened, never over- whitened, creating a smile that is bright and natural-looking.
If you suffer from severe tooth discoloration, porcelain veneers or crowns may be necessary to achieve a bright smile. However, teeth whitening is almost always worth an initial try, thanks to the relatively low cost of treatment. In many instances where dental veneers are going to be placed, it is necessary to whiten the underlying teeth first.
Chair-Side Professional Teeth Whitening System
The teeth whitening process is incredibly safe and effective. Ideal results are usually achieved in just in one or two visits. However, tooth whitening is a precise, intricate process. Dr. Marlin will protect your teeth and gums and control the whitening process to obtain your desired, natural- looking results. Depending on your unique situation, Dr. Marlin may recommend that you use take-home trays for three to four days as a follow-up process to finalize your results. We will take before and after photos so you can see the dramatic change in your smile.
Prior to scheduling chair-side teeth whitening treatment, Dr. Marlin 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 or health conditions can affect your results. The tone of your teeth may affect the outcome.
If Dr. marlin determines that chair-side teeth whitening is appropriate 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 reduce sensitivity, increase the effectiveness of the whitening agent and enhance your results. If you are not eligible for in-office professional teeth whitening, or if you’d prefer an alternative treatment, we may recommend take home whitening kits.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening Kits
If you are not a candidate for in-office teeth whitening, you may still benefit from tooth whitening treatment with take-home teeth whitening kits. These kits include customized application trays that are fashioned to fit your unique teeth and consistently whiten the surface of each tooth. Take-home kits offer the convenience of whitening on your schedule in the comfort of your own home. During that process, we will bring you in for our evaluation and input.
Once your custom bleaching trays are ready, we will provide you with a special whitening agent to place in the clear plastic trays. By wearing these trays only 30-60 minutes each day, stains can be removed from your enamel relatively quickly, without altering your tooth structure or existing dental work. After your teeth have reached the desired brightness, occasional supplemental treatment may be needed to maintain your new smile.
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 Effects 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 sensitivity:
- We supply you with toothpaste that contains potassium nitrate. It is made for sensitive teeth and should soothe your 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.
Schedule Your Teeth Whitening Appointment Today
If you are ready to enjoy a bright, white smile, contact Prosthetic Dentistry of Washington D.C. today online or at 202-244-2101 to book your teeth whitening appointment. Our friendly office proudly serves the Washington D.C., Bethesda, and Arlington areas, and welcomes patients from across the country.