Your smile is the first thing other people notice, so it isn’t surprising that teeth whitening is one of the most commonly requested cosmetic dental services. In-office whitening is a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to brighten your smile and improve your appearance. At Red Bud Dental in Round Rock, Texas, Dr. Lisa Ochoa helps patients from communities in and around the Austin area get the white, vibrant smile they want.
Just as hair and skin come in a variety of shades, teeth come in various shades of white, some of which are naturally brighter than others. No matter what shade of white your teeth are usually, discoloration can make them look dull, yellow, or gray. Whether it’s a recent change or change that’s slowly happened over the course of time, there are several possible reasons why your pearly whites may not be so white anymore, including:
Age — Tooth enamel gets thinner with age, allowing the yellowish dentin layer underneath the enamel to show through and make your teeth look less white.
Diet — Coffee, tea, red wine, and berries are all known to stain teeth with their intense pigments, which easily adhere to tooth enamel.
Medication — Some prescription medicines, including antihistamines and blood pressure medication, have been linked to tooth discoloration.
Cigarettes — Smoking is a common cause of tooth discoloration; both tar and nicotine can leave stubborn stains on tooth enamel.
There are a variety of effective teeth-whitening methods available, including professional, in-office procedures as well as customized take-home treatments. Dr. Lisa Ochoa offers the following teeth-whitening options:
Chairside bleaching — Professional bleaching, also known as chairside bleaching, is the most common approach to teeth whitening in the dental office. During this treatment, the dentist uses a rubber shield to protect your lips and gums from the bleach, which they apply directly to your teeth. As the powerful bleaching agents begin to break down, oxygen penetrates the enamel to help lift stains and visibly lighten the color of your teeth.
Laser whitening — This newer, state-of-the-art procedure involves the use of a special whitening gel that’s activated by an LED laser. During this treatment, the dentist will shield your lips and gums before applying the whitening gel to your teeth. When the laser activates the whitening agent in the gel, it speeds up the process of breaking up stains and removing discoloration. Dr. Ochoa uses Zoom! In-Office Whitening System, which can make your smile up to eight shades brighter.
Dr. Ochoa also offers Opalescence® teeth whitening, a chemically activated whitening treatment that uses a penetrating gel to break down discolored molecules in your enamel. This whitens your teeth quickly and efficiently in a single treatment.
Before you have a professional whitening treatment, it’s important to have a thorough examination to make sure that you’re a good candidate for the procedure. That’s because teeth-whitening treatments aren’t effective for all types of discoloration: Yellow teeth bleach well while brown teeth bleach poorly, and gray teeth may not bleach at all. Whitening treatments are also only effective on natural teeth, and they don’t work well for teeth restored with veneers, bonding, crowns, or bridges.
We do not perform teeth whitening services for patients under the age of 16.