Do you feel like your dull, yellowed or stained teeth are causing you to feel self-conscious? If so, you can overhaul your smile with one of the fastest and most effective cosmetic dentistry procedures available, a professional teeth whitening session. Learn more about what teeth whitening can do for you with help from your Arlington, VA dentist, Dr. Mary Gregory.
How does teeth whitening work?
Teeth stain on two levels: the outer enamel layer of the tooth (extrinsic) and the inner dentin layer of the tooth (intrinsic). Extrinsic stains come from outside elements like drinking coffee, tea or soda. Intrinsic staining comes from things like trauma to the tooth, using certain medications or too much fluoride. Additionally, teeth may appear more yellow in color due to the outer enamel wearing thin from everyday use and allowing the yellow-colored dentin found underneath to show through. Teeth whitening treatments use chemical reactions between the stains on your teeth and the chemicals which make up the whitening agents. These chemical reactions break the bonds which hold the stain’s molecules together, dissipating them to give the tooth a whiter appearance.
Teeth Whitening in Arlington
Professional teeth whitening sessions begin with sectioning off the teeth from the soft oral tissues using a dental dam to decrease the chance of irritation from the whitening agents. Your dentist places the whitening gel onto the teeth and directs a special light at the mouth. Most sessions last around an hour. Results are immediate and dramatic, with teeth lightening up to ten shades in a single session. Most patients schedule touch-up sessions every six months to keep their teeth bright and white.
Professional Teeth Whitening vs. At-Home Kits
At-home whitening kits are widely available over-the-counter from a variety of stores or online websites. However, professional whitening sessions are monitored by Dr. Gregory, allowing the chemicals used to be stronger and more effective in a shorter amount of time. Most at-home kits only produce results after several weeks of continued use. Additionally, in-office whitening sessions decrease the risk of irritation and are generally more effective than at-home kits.
To find out more about professional teeth whitening, please contact Dr. Gregory in Arlington, VA. Call (703) 527-6495 to schedule your appointment for a professional teeth whitening session.