Teeth Whitening in Austin, TX
Teeth whitening is the most common cosmetic treatment performed in dental offices today. Whitening is a quick and powerful method for transforming your smile without undergoing more complex procedures. At Aspire Dental, we offer professional teeth whitening services with both in-office treatments and at-home whitening trays. These products are much more effective than whitening products you might find on the shelves of your local drugstore.
Why Do Teeth Stain?
Teeth have a porous structure with tiny microscopic openings on the outer layers of your teeth. These tiny pores are a natural part of the tooth’s anatomy. When teeth are exposed to various substances from our diets and lifestyle choices, these micropores can trap and absorb pigments, particles, and molecules from those substances. This absorption process can lead to tooth staining in two primary ways: intrinsic and extrinsic staining.
The key difference lies in the location of the discoloration: intrinsic stains originate from within the tooth, while extrinsic stains affect the outer enamel layer. The approach to treating or preventing these stains may differ depending on their type and underlying causes.
Intrinsic Tooth Staining
Intrinsic staining occurs when the inner structure of the tooth, known as dentin, becomes discolored. It is typically caused by factors that affect the tooth from the inside, such as exposure to excessive fluoride during tooth development, certain medications and diseases, cancer treatments, or trauma that damages the tooth’s nerve. Intrinsic stains often appear as gray, blue, or yellowish discolorations that originate from within the tooth.
Unfortunately, intrinsic stains pose a greater challenge for treatment than extrinsic stains, as standard whitening products typically do not resolve them. To address intrinsic tooth stains effectively, we recommend other options, such as dental crowns, porcelain veneers, or dental bonding. These cosmetic dentistry procedures can provide comprehensive and long-lasting solutions to restore the natural appearance of teeth affected by deep-seated discoloration.
Porcelain veneers, in particular, are a great option for concealing stains while addressing other cosmetic issues. Veneers may be an ideal treatment if you’d like to dramatically transform your smile or if you want to treat discoloration in addition to other cosmetic flaws.
Extrinsic Tooth Staining
Extrinsic staining affects the outer layer of the tooth, known as enamel. It is caused by external factors such as the consumption of stain-producing foods and beverages (such as coffee, tea, and red wine), tobacco use, poor dental hygiene leading to plaque and tartar buildup, and certain pigmented foods (such as berries, candy, and soy sauce). Extrinsic stains typically appear on the tooth’s surface and manifest as yellow, brown, or black discolorations.
Additionally, age-related discoloration is often a result of both intrinsic and extrinsic staining.
How Teeth Whitening Works
Teeth whitening, or teeth bleaching, is a dental procedure that aims to lighten the color of the teeth and remove stains or discoloration. It works through the application of a bleaching agent, usually containing hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, to the tooth surfaces. Your teeth are whitened through a safe and effective chemical reaction that involves:
- Breaking down stains: The active ingredient in the bleaching gel penetrates the tooth enamel and begins to break down the molecular bonds that hold the stains together.
- Oxygen release: As the bleaching agent breaks down, it releases oxygen molecules. These oxygen molecules enter the enamel and dentin and react with the discolored molecules, effectively oxidizing and neutralizing them.
- Lightening effect: The oxidation process causes the discolored molecules to become colorless, which lightens the teeth’s appearance. This can significantly improve the teeth’s overall brightness.
Though teeth whitening should not cause pain, some individuals may feel temporary sensitivity that diminishes quickly.
Teeth Whitening Options
Professional teeth whitening often involves higher-concentration bleaching agents and customized trays for a more controlled and effective treatment. While over-the-counter products are available, they are much less potent and take longer to show results. At Aspire Dental, we offer in-office and at-home treatments that are more effective than commercial drugstore options.
In-office whitening with the Philips Zoom system is the fastest and most effective treatment we offer, providing remarkable results in about 45 minutes.
We will begin the treatment by assessing your current tooth shade and applying an advanced whitening gel to your teeth. We use a special blue LED lamp with adjustable settings that accelerates the whitening process while ensuring comfort. We repeat this cycle three times to achieve your desired shade. Finally, we will apply a post-treatment gel that safeguards your enamel and alleviates sensitivity. In less than an hour, you can leave the office with a radiant smile.
Philips Zoom is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a fast, effective, and confidence-boosting teeth whitening solution. Because our in-office treatment is so powerful and transformative, most patients choose this method for whitening their teeth.
At Aspire Dental, we also offer convenient at-home bleaching kits that allow you to whiten your teeth from the comfort of your home. We take dental impressions to create custom, flexible trays that conform to your unique dental arch. This way, the trays will fit your teeth precisely. When you are ready to whiten your teeth, you will apply professional-grade whitening gel to the trays and wear them for a predetermined period.
This process takes longer than in-office treatment but works much better than over-the-counter whitening products due to the higher concentration of peroxide in the take-home trays. With consistent use, you can expect to see results in a couple of days, with significantly brighter teeth in a few weeks.
Keeping Your Teeth White
While results from professional teeth whitening can last for years, many variables impact the longevity of your bright smile. For example, someone who frequently drinks coffee and uses tobacco will experience restaining more quickly than others.
Although teeth whitening is not permanent, there are several actions you can take to prolong your smile’s brightness:
- Reduce consumption of foods and drinks that are known to stain teeth. Using a straw when consuming stain-causing drinks like dark soda, juice, and coffee can help reduce discoloration. Rinsing your mouth if you cannot brush your teeth immediately can also help prevent stains from developing.
- Limit consumption of sports and energy drinks. These drinks are acidic, meaning they can erode your enamel and lead to stains.
- Practice good oral hygiene. Using the proper brushing technique twice daily helps clear debris from between teeth and near the gum line. Flossing and rinsing with mouthwash daily will also prevent plaque accumulation that leads to discoloration.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months. When bristles wear out, they become less effective at removing plaque.
- Quit smoking. Not only does tobacco use contribute to tooth staining, but it can also cause gum disease and increase your risk of developing serious health problems.
Following these guidelines and maintaining routine check-ups at Aspire Dental will help keep your smile radiant.
Teeth Whitening for a Bright and Beautiful Smile
Professional teeth whitening treatments are the best way to brighten your smile. Whether you want to whiten your teeth for a special occasion or boost your confidence and overall appearance, these treatments provide safe, effective, and lasting results.
At Aspire Dental, we recognize the power of a beautiful smile. If you are interested in teeth whitening treatments or other cosmetic procedures, contact us today to book a consultation.