Teeth Whitening in Tacoma
how does teeth whitening work?
Professional teeth whitening treatments work to remove surface stains and lighten the shade of your teeth by using hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to penetrate your tooth enamel and break down staining molecules in your teeth through oxidation.
The result is a whiter, brighter smile that leaves patients feeling more confident and happier with their smiles. If you’re interested in whitening your teeth, contact us at Rainier Smiles Dentistry today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Steve Hong.
Did you know…
Professional whitening treatments contain much higher concentrations of peroxides to whiten the teeth more effectively.
what to expect when getting your teeth whitened in tacoma
Our Tacoma cosmetic dentist, Dr. Steve Hong, will examine your teeth to assess the extent of discoloration. X-rays may be taken to rule out tooth decay and gum disease which should be treated before whitening treatment.
For in-office whitening, we will need to protect your gums and soft tissue with the use of cheek protractors and protective gel so the peroxide doesn’t come into contact with your soft tissue.
impressions (at-home whitening)
To create take-home whitening trays, we will take impressions of your teeth and send them to a dental lab that will use them as a mold to create your trays.
application of whitening gel
For both in-office and at-home whitening, a peroxide-based bleaching agent will be applied to your teeth. In-office, we will apply this to your teeth individually. For at-home whitening, you will apply the gel to the inside of your trays and place them over your teeth.
uv light (in-office whitening)
The whitening agent for in-office whitening is activated with a UV light. We may repeat the application and UV light exposure a few times.
teeth whitening treatment options
A whitening treatment performed at our Tacoma dentistry will garner the most effective and immediate result. Patients prefer in-office whitening for special occasions like weddings. We apply a whitening agent to your teeth and activate it with UV light.
Depending on how discolored your teeth are, this may require multiple sessions. Each session is about one hour long and can lighten your teeth by up to 10 shades.
If you would prefer to whiten your teeth on your own time at home, we can create custom-made whitening trays for you from impressions taken of your teeth. You will apply the whitening gel to your trays and wear them each day for a specified amount of time as per the instructions.
Your trays are to be worn each day for 2 weeks. Over the 2 weeks, your teeth will gradually become whiter. We offer the KöR Whitening system which enables you to choose when you would like to wear your whitening trays: day or night.
KöR Day is worn for a certain period during the day and is ideal for patients with sensitive teeth, while KöR Night is worn overnight while you sleep and will produce more significant results.
Did you know…
Teeth whitening treatments lighten the shade of your enamel by releasing oxygen into the enamel to bleach the dentin.
Have questions about teeth whitening? Find answers here.
how long does teeth whitening last?
Teeth whitening lasts for 6 months to 3 years depending on how many surface stains you accumulate and your oral hygiene practices. Foods and drinks such as red wine, coffee, tea, and blueberries can cause discoloration over time.
Smoking should also be avoided to preserve your whitened teeth. If you brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste and floss each day, this will reduce plaque accumulation and prevent the teeth from turning yellow. Dental cleanings remove plaque build-up and remove surface stains.
You should get a dental cleaning every 6 months. However, if you notice your teeth becoming significantly discolored again, the best option may be to have another whitening touch-up.
does teeth whitening cause sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is the most common side effect of professional teeth whitening due to the stripping of your tooth enamel’s minerals by the peroxide (demineralization). This exposes your tooth’s dentinal tubules which contain nerves and make your teeth hypersensitive.
However, sensitivity is only temporary and lasts only a few days until the minerals have been restored. You can minimize this with desensitizing gel and toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
Did you know…
Carbamide peroxide changes into hydrogen peroxide when applied to the teeth.