Teeth Whitening

Sellwood-Moreland and Portland, OR

A bright smile not only improves appearance, but can even give make you appear more youthful.

You’ll need an exam to determine if your teeth are healthy enough for whitening or whether your teeth will actually look whiter after treatment. Not everyone benefits from whitening treatments.

During your regularly scheduled cleaning, we remove surface stains and polish your teeth. We can discuss additional whitening options during these appointments. If you are a candidate for whitening, your Whole Health dentist may suggest a procedure that can be done in or out of the office, or as we recommend—both.

How do I know if teeth whitening is for me?

To begin, you will need a consultation with the dentist to determine your needs for teeth whitening. Every patient’s needs are different, and some patients may better benefit from other cosmetic procedures. However, if your teeth are dingy or appeared stained, teeth whitening may be the right place to start.

What to expect during a teeth whitening procedure

Teeth whitening begins with a thorough cleaning by our dental hygienist. This process removes any plaque buildup that is prone to collecting stains. At Whole Health Dentistry, we offer in-office and at-home whitening. The dentist will decide which method is best for you, although we typically recommend in-office treatments, followed by at-home whitening gel for touch-ups.

In-Office Whitening

Called “chairside” or in-office whitening, this may be completed in as little as one visit. During a typical in-office whitening procedure, either a rubber shield or a protective gel is applied to your gums to protect the soft tissue. A whitening agent is then applied to your teeth, and a special light is used to enhance the action of the agent.

At Whole Health Dentistry, we use an innovative tooth whitening procedure called Zoom!

It’s simple, safe, effective and fast, very fast. In just over an hour of treatment time, your teeth will be dramatically whiter. As described above, the procedure begins with a short preparation to isolate your lips and gums. The clinician then applies the Zoom! whitening gel. A specially designed light activates it. Teeth typically become at least six to ten shades whiter, sometimes more.

A fluoride treatment completes the procedure. You’ll be amazed with the results. In most cases, teeth get even whiter the first few days after the procedure. Custom trays with whitening gel are included in this package for maximum whitening and maintenance.

Custom Whitening Trays

Custom take-home whitening products typically involve gel dispensed into a tray or mouth guard, and placed on your teeth for a period of time. The trays are custom designed to precisely fit on your teeth, and the length of usage depends on the product. Some products are used twice a day for approximately two weeks, and others are intended for overnight use for one to two weeks.

The tray method involves having teeth/bite impressions taken to build the custom mouth guard trays. You place a hydrogen or carbamide peroxide gel in the trays and wear them for one to three hours, or overnight. The entire process takes three to four weeks of daily use. Three different strengths of gel may be used, however the higher the strength the greater the likelihood of reactions or tooth sensitivity. The tray method is recommended for badly stained teeth, such as tetracycline staining, and it may take several months of use to see significant color improvement. For maintenance of whitened teeth, the trays should be used every several months.

At Whole Health Dentistry, we offer a combination tray method and Zoom! whitening for one price. The end results are better when these two treatments are used together.

After your teeth have been whitened, how long can you expect results to last?

It varies from person to person, but, on average, a single teeth-whitening treatment can produce results for upwards of six months. That’s why we offer the take-home trays—they help prolong your results, and can be used as necessary for touch-ups, though you may require an in-office treatment again within a year.

You can prolong your teeth whitening results even longer by taking steps at home to minimize staining. These include:

  • Decrease your intake of coffee, tea, and red wine.
  • Avoid sports drinks and sodas.
  • Minimize your intake of sugary snacks.
  • Only brush with a mildly abrasive toothpaste.
  • Get professional cleanings twice a year.

Is teeth whitening safe?

The short answer, yes! Professional teeth whitening with Zoom! is safe. However, be cautious about over-the-counter teeth whitening agents that promise to provide results, only to leave you disappointed and having wasted your time and money.

Why choose professional teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is not a one-size-fits-all, which is why professional whitening by the dentist provides you with the best, long-last results in a safe manner. Professional teeth whitening can whiten your teeth up to six times whiter. Store brands simply cannot provide these results.

How can I prolong my results?

  • Decrease your intake of coffee, tea, and red wine
  • Avoid sports drinks and sodas
  • Minimize your intake of sugary snacks
  • Only brush with a mildly abrasive toothpaste
  • Get professional cleanings twice a year

If you desire longer lasting results, we can recommend other options, including porcelain veneers. During your initial consultation we will discuss all of your options to help you determine which one will best meet your needs.

If you would like more information on teeth whitening, please contact Whole Health Dentistry at (503) 462-1538 to schedule a consultation.

Whole Health Dentistry offers complete oral care to patients of Sellwood-Moreland and Portland, Oregon.