Your teeth are full of tiny holes, so small that you can’t even see them. This means that, like sponges, your teeth will absorb the color of whatever you eat and drink. Over time, consuming wine, coffee, or dark berries can lead to tooth discoloration that might make you feel insecure about your smile. Here at Corte Madera Dentist – Julie Young, DDS, we’re proud to offer professional teeth whitening treatments that can help you get rid of stubborn tooth stains, fast! Plus, you can choose between in-office and take-home solutions, depending on your preferences. To learn more about your options for teeth whitening in Corte Madera, CA, contact us today!
Who Is a Good Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
Do you have minor surface stains on a small number of teeth, or is your entire smile severely discolored? In either case, there’s a good chance that you’re a candidate for teeth whitening!
The specific treatment plan that Dr. Julie Young draws up for you will depend on the root cause of your discoloration, the state of your oral health, your unique needs, and the goals you have in terms of how your pearly whites will look. Don’t worry – as a cosmetic dentist in Corte Madera with 23+ years of experience, Dr. Young will make this process easy for you. She’ll go over all of these variables with you to create a custom whitening plan that will provide you with the bright, confident smile you’ve been waiting for.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
The microscopic holes in your teeth that allow them to absorb the staining effects of certain foods and liquids also allow for a whitening agent to penetrate the enamel. Once the agent gets through the surface, it begins breaking down the discolored molecules in your teeth.
A reaction takes place: the oxygen molecules from the whitening agent react with the stain molecules in your teeth, dissolving the bonds that hold these molecules together. As a result, the patient is left with fewer discolored molecules in their teeth and an overall whiter, brighter smile.
Depending on your specific needs and preferences, you can lighten the shade of your teeth in one of two ways:
In-Office Teeth Whitening
Maybe you have an important milestone or special event coming up soon, and you wish to have a dazzling smile as soon as possible. In that case, we can brighten your teeth with Zoom whitening. With Zoom, we apply a potent bleaching gel to your teeth and activate it by shining a special light onto it. After about 15 minutes, the stain molecules in your teeth have broken down, so when we remove the gel, the stains come right off with it! This process can be repeated three or four times until you’re happy with the results.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening
If you don’t have the time in your schedule to come in for an hour-long appointment, then you can pick up one of our take-home Zoom whitening kits. This solution features plastic trays that are custom-fitted for your teeth and professional-strength bleaching gel that you can wear for about half an hour each day. Most patients achieve the same results as an in-office treatment after about two weeks of daily take-home treatment.
Tips for Maintaining Your Brighter Smile
If you take good care of your smile, you can expect the results of your teeth whitening to last for a few months to even a year or more! To prolong your results, be sure to:
Keep up with your oral hygiene (brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, etc.).
Visit Dr. Young for a checkup and cleaning every six months.
Talk to us about touch-up whitening treatments as needed.
Limit darkly pigmented beverages like tea, wine, and coffee. If you do indulge, sip them through a straw to reduce their direct contact with your teeth.
Understanding the Cost of Teeth Whitening
If you are looking for a simple way to enhance the appearance of your smile, professional teeth whitening is likely the solution for you. However, you should consider the cost of your treatment ahead of time so that you don’t end up with unnecessary surprises. After all, you want to know what you are paying for. Here are some things for you to take into consideration.
Factors that Affect the Cost of Teeth Whitening
Generally, teeth whitening is one set price, but there are a few factors that can determine the number of treatments you need to achieve your goals:
Severity of Discoloration: If your teeth are very discolored, you may need additional treatments to reach your smile goals.
Type of Discoloration: Extrinsic stains are much easier to address than intrinsic stains.
Other Treatments: If you have an oral health issue that needs to be addressed ahead of time, like a cavity or gum disease, you should consider that cost as well.
Types of Teeth Whitening: What Do They Cost?
There are several different types of teeth whitening, and they all range in cost and effectiveness. Here’s what you can expect based on what you choose:
In-Office Teeth Whitening: This will usually cost somewhere between $300 and $800. In some situations, it can cost upwards of $1000.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening: A professional take-home teeth whitening kit usually costs a few hundred dollars.
Over-the-Counter Trays: Teeth whitening trays that you can find over the counter generally total up to $100 or less.
Over-the-Counter Strips/Gels: This is the most affordable option the majority of the time. These boxes can cost between $20 and $40 on average and contain enough product to last up to two weeks.
Fast Teeth Whitening VS Inexpensive Teeth Whitening
When you just look at the numbers, you may be wondering why anyone would consider professional teeth whitening. The truth is that you get what you pay for. When you choose cheaper strips and gels, you will likely see little to no results, especially if you have more significant discoloration. On the other hand, professional teeth whitening treatments are designed to lighten tooth enamel by multiple shades very quickly. With an in-office whitening treatment, you will see results in as little as an hour! With professional take-home whitening kits, you will notice changes in just a couple of weeks. When choosing which teeth whitening option is right for you, it’s important to consider the results that you are looking for and how quickly you want them.
Options For Making Teeth Whitening Affordable
Teeth whitening is not covered by dental insurance because it is an elective treatment, but this doesn’t mean that you will be left in the dust. Third-party financing companies, like CareCredit, can help break your costs into manageable monthly installments with little to no interest if you’re approved. To learn more about your financial options, give us a call!
To find out exactly how much you can expect to pay for teeth whitening, schedule an appointment with us. We are eager to help you achieve your smile goals!
Teeth Whitening FAQs
Are you eager to enhance the natural beauty of your smile? Teeth whitening is a quick solution to stubborn stains, but you may still have some unanswered questions about the treatment. Here are some of the most common questions we are asked about teeth whitening in Corte Madera. If you don’t see the information that you’re looking for below, give us a call. We’d be happy to explain more about the process and get you started with a consultation.
Does Teeth Whitening Hurt?
Many patients are hesitant to commit to treatment because they are worried that it will hurt. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about teeth whitening. Because professional whitening treatments are entirely custom, you are significantly less likely to experience tooth sensitivity. If your teeth are more prone to being sensitive, don’t hesitate to let us know. By spacing out treatments, avoiding hot beverages, and using a specialty toothpaste, you can avoid this unpleasant sensation.
Does Teeth Whitening Damage Enamel?
No, professional teeth whitening does not damage healthy enamel. However, if your teeth are already compromised by decay or gum disease the chemicals can cause issues. This is why it’s so important that we conduct a comprehensive dental exam beforehand. Additional damage can also come from at- home remedies, like using activated charcoal and hydrogen peroxide to attempt to address discoloration. Overuse of whitening products can also wear away at your enamel. If you want to whiten your teeth in any way, you should always consult your dentist first. This way, they can give you advice to achieve your smile goals safely.
Is Teeth Whitening Permanent?
No, teeth whitening is not a permanent treatment. Typically, results will last anywhere from a couple months to a few years depending on how well you care for your teeth. To prolong the results, you should implement a solid at-home oral hygiene routine, attend your six-month cleanings and checkups, and avoid poor dental habits. Touch-up treatments can also help you to keep your teeth bright!
Does Teeth Whitening Work on Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns cannot be whitened like natural teeth. Whitening gels can actually weaken the bond between your tooth and restoration, therefore leading to complications. The good news is that you can prevent your crown from becoming discolored by implementing the same best practices you use for your natural teeth. If you are unhappy with the current shade of your crown, it can be replaced to better suit your smile goals.