Popular, safe, and effective, teeth whitening has given patients across the world a reason to smile. Your appearance can affect you socially, emotionally, and even in business successes. People who smile with confidence are viewed as warm, inviting, and beautiful. Now, with professional whitening systems, we can help you achieve the pearly whites of magazine models and movie stars.
Why Teeth Discolor
Chemicals in foods, beverages, and tobacco can change the color of your teeth, as can the effects of aging. Medications such as tetracycline, excessive fluoride, and previous dental work may also cause unsightly stains on your tooth enamel. Genetics can also affect the color of your teeth. While we think of tooth enamel as white, the natural, unstained shade of your teeth can range from pearly white to bluish gray to pale yellow. Even if you brush and floss daily, stains can tarnish your beautiful smile and steal the confident image you want to convey.
You don’t have to live with discolored teeth. After a thorough examination, we can recommend the best option for whitening and brightening your smile.
In-office whitening is one of the safest and quickest ways to safely whiten your teeth. During this process, we will place a protective rubber dam around your gums and apply a solution of 35 percent carbamide peroxide, a chemical found in most bleaching products, to your teeth. In-office whitening can give you dazzlingly white teeth in about an hour.
If you’d prefer to avoid a dental appointment, we can create clear, customized bleaching trays for you to whiten at home. The professional-grade at-home whitening solution usually contains 10 to 20 percent carbamide peroxide. Simply pour the solution into your custom mouth trays and wear them for an hour or more a day. You will notice whiter teeth almost immediately, but the most dramatic results will appear after one to two weeks of daily treatments.
You can also purchase home use whiteners over the counter. While there are so many on the market, most of these products are not as effective as the bleaching methods available in our office. If you prefer to use a store-bought whitening system, ask us which product would work best for you. We want you to have a smile you will be proud of, so we’re happy to help. Use over-the-counter products as directed, and never use whiteners for more than the recommended time period.
If your teeth are sensitive to bleaching, your dentists may recommend a dentifrice (whitening toothpaste). These contain chemical or polishing agents to gently remove stains from the surface of your teeth. While your teeth won’t be as white as if you used a bleaching system, whitening toothpaste is safe, easy to use, and can be purchased over the counter.
With all whitening systems, we advise patients not to eat or drink foods that stain, or to smoke, since recently-whitened teeth absorb stains. Whitening systems can also cause increased sensitivity in your teeth and gums. These side effects pass with time, but if they persist or other problems arise, you should contact your dentist immediately.
If bleaching and whitening can’t get your teeth as white as you’d like, veneers or bonding may be a good solution. These cosmetic procedures are long lasting and do not discolor or stain. In addition to whitening your smile, veneers and bonding can cover cracks, chips, and slight misalignments.
Teeth Whitening FAQs
After reading about our teeth whitening options, you probably can’t wait to get started. Before you move forward, however, it’s important that you’re well-informed about what to expect with the treatment process. We want you to make the best decision possible for your unique smile, which is why we’ve answered some frequently asked questions about teeth whitening in Fort Collins below. Of course, we’re more than happy to answer any additional questions you may have during your consultation appointment!
Does teeth whitening hurt?
Over the years, you may have been put off from getting your teeth whitened by hearing people in your life complain about tooth sensitivity afterward. While this may be common with over-the-counter teeth whiteners, our professional treatment is tailor-made to meet your specific needs and preferences. If you’re prone to sensitivity, just let us know and we can adjust your treatment accordingly. You may experience mild sensitivity for a day or two after getting your teeth whitened (especially if you choose in-office whitening), but it should only be temporary. In the meantime, avoid cold foods and beverages and use desensitizing toothpaste.
Is teeth whitening covered by dental insurance?
Because teeth whitening is considered a purely cosmetic service that is not “medically necessary,” the vast majority of dental insurance providers won’t cover the cost. That being said, we may still be able to help you afford teeth whitening via our partnership with CareCredit. This third-party financier offers low- or no-interest payment plans based on credit approval, making your smile makeover much more accessible.
Am I a candidate for teeth whitening?
Whether you just have a few small stains or you’re dealing with heavy discoloration throughout your entire smile, you’ll be pleased to know that most patients make good candidates for teeth whitening. To find out for sure, though, you’ll need to attend a consultation with a cosmetic dentist in Fort Collins. After examining your smile, Dr. Lindsey will let you know whether there are any oral health issues that must be addressed before we can focus on cosmetics. If that’s the case, she’ll develop a custom treatment plan to get your smile looking and feeling its best.
Does teeth whitening work on dental crowns?
The materials that dental crowns are made from, like porcelain and ceramic, are not porous like tooth enamel is. While this makes crowns more stain-resistant than real teeth, it also means that whitening agents are not effective. In fact, bleaching gel might even weaken the bond between your restoration and the underlying tooth. However, it’s possible to replace your dental crown after your whitening treatment to ensure that the color of your smile is uniform.