Teeth Whitening Greenbelt

Brighter, More Beautiful Smiles

Woman talking to cosmetic dentist about teeth whitening in Greenbelt

Tired of seeing tooth stains when looking in the mirror? If you're like most people, you want to make a good first impression when meeting others. But how can this be accomplished? At McCarl Dental Group, PC, we find that professional teeth whitening is one of the more popular cosmetic dentistry service we provide. This is no surprise since foods and drinks consumed on a daily basis can quickly discolor naturally healthy, beautiful smiles despite our best oral hygiene efforts. We can help you recreate a brilliant white smile with a custom, take-home professional teeth whitening kit. If you’re interested in learning more about teeth whitening in Greenbelt, call our dental office to schedule a cosmetic dentistry consultation with one of our caring dentists.

Why Do Teeth Stain?

Dentist wearing face mask and dental binoculars

There are many reasons why teeth become stained, and to recommend the right cosmetic dentistry solution to brighten your smile, we want to determine the cause. Some of the common causes of dental discoloration include the following:

  • Consumption of staining foods and drinks (if it will stain a white shirt, it will stain your teeth)
  • Use of tobacco
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Specific medications taken during dental development
  • Inadequate or excessive fluoride consumption during dental development
  • Dental wear revealing yellow dentin tooth layer
  • Genetic predisposition

Types Of Tooth Stains

Senior man sitting in dental chair

Teeth are made up of three layers: the hard, outer surface enamel, the supportive layer called dentin, and the soft interior dental pulp that houses the tooth’s nerve system. The tooth enamel absorbs pigment from foods, beverages, and tobacco that can stain teeth, leading to discolored smiles. Stains that affect just the outer enamel layer of teeth are easily removed through professional teeth whitening. When tooth staining saturates deeper into the tooth structure, or dental wear reveals the yellow dentin layers of teeth, we may need to discuss alternative cosmetic dentistry solutions like porcelain veneers or dental bonding.

What Is Teeth Whitening?

Woman in dental chair touching her teeth

If you’re in our dental office for teeth whitening, chances are that you have tried one or more over-the-counter products first without seeing the results you wanted. These store-bought teeth whitening strips, gels, pastes, and rinses use peroxide to lift stains from teeth. Unfortunately, they have to use very low levels of this active whitening agent, and their application methods don’t prevent saliva from neutralizing the peroxide. 

Professional teeth whitening treatments use the same active ingredient, but we’re able to use prescription-strength doses and effective application methods to ensure the desired results are achieved. We offer custom home professional teeth whitening options.

Take-Home Teeth Whitening

We recommend professional home teeth whitening. This way you can discover if you have sensitivity to whitening products. We can change the whitening solution to suit your needs. We will create a specially fitted application tray that you’ll use in combination with prescription-strength dose of our active teeth whitening agent. You’ll simply need to apply the whitening gel to teeth once a day for ten to fourteen days or until you are happy with the shade of your teeth. Some patients have great results with 3-4 applications of teeth whitening. At home whitening achieves the same flawless results possible with in-office teeth whitening with less tooth sensitivity.

How Long Do Teeth Whitening Results Last?

Smiling dentist talking to a patient

Everyone is different, but after teeth whitening, you should be able to maintain your brighter smile for several months to a full year. We will usually recommend touching up your results once or twice a year with a custom at-home teeth whitening kit. You can extend the results of your teeth whitening treatment by taking the following steps:

  • Reduce or limit consumption of staining foods and beverages
  • Stop smoking and using other tobacco products
  • Maintain thorough at-home hygiene with daily flossing and twice-a-day brushing
  • Visit us twice a year for professional teeth cleanings

Understanding The Cost Of Teeth Whitening

Dentist showing a computer monitor to a patient

The cost of teeth whitening is dependent on various factors that will be determined during your initial consultation. When meeting with a member of McCarl Dental Group, PC, we will go over your goals and concerns as well as formulate an idea as to how much you can expect to pay for your upcoming treatment. We’ll then work with you to discuss your financial options so that you can avoid high out-of-pocket expenses.

Factors That Affect The Cost Of Teeth Whitening

Some of the most common factors to determine how much teeth whitening will cost include:

  • The severity of your stains
  • The causes behind tooth discoloration
  • Where the stains exist
  • If there are any preliminary treatments you need first (i.e., periodontal therapy, tooth decay elimination)

We will determine all of this information during your initial consultation so that you do not experience any surprises throughout treatment.

Types Of Teeth Whitening: What Do They Cost?

There are different types of teeth whitening you can consider. While many choose to move forward with store-bought systems, these tend to lack the high-grade bleaching gel that produces long-lasting results.

At McCarl Dental Group, PC, you will find that we offer take-home whitening kits that you can use to improve the look of your smile; however, there are dental offices that also offer in-office whitening. Here is a sample breakdown of how much you can expect to pay for each kind:

  • In-Office: The average cost is $400-$500 but can go as high as $1,000.
  • Professional At-Home: When choosing customized trays and professional-grade bleaching gel, you’ll likely spend between $200-$300.
  • Store-Bought Trays: Many store-bought whitening trays are less than $100, which is often an enticing reality for many patients.
  • Whitening Kit: Purchasing a whitening kit may only cost you between $20-$30 upfront, but your results will be less favorable than if you were to pursue professional whitening.

Fast Teeth Whitening Vs. Inexpensive Teeth Whitening

There are many reasons cosmetic dentists recommend professional, fast teeth whitening versus inexpensive options found at your local drugstore, such as:

  • Those provided by a dentist contain a higher-grade bleaching gel that penetrates and eliminates surface stains (extrinsic) and those beneath the enamel’s surface (intrinsic)
  • A dental team member oversees the process to ensure that you know how to use the trays and bleaching gel correctly so that you do not harm your soft oral tissues or whiten your teeth excessively
  • Your results will last longer than those at a store as long as you commit to caring for your teeth the correct way

Options For Making Teeth Whitening Affordable

Dental insurance is not likely to pay for teeth whitening because it is a cosmetic service. Because it is deemed “non-medical,” they will not cover the cost. However, you can still pursue this type of treatment without emptying your savings by opting for interest-free financing that is flexible with no surprise fees.

Teeth Whitening FAQs

Pursuing a brighter smile with professional teeth whitening is a worthwhile investment of your time and money, but we at McCarl Dental Group, PC understand you probably have many questions. This is why we’ve made it easy for our patients to review frequently asked questions about teeth whitening below.  If you don’t see your question listed below, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office.

What’s The Difference Between Professional And Store-Bought Teeth Whitening?

There are countless varieties of store-bought whitening kits on drugstore shelves, but the problem with these products is that they often leave lackluster results. Your hard-earned dollars are spent on trays and strips that do not contain high-grade bleaching gel, resulting in the removal of minor surface stains but leaving behind those deep within the enamel.

With professional teeth whitening, you can entrust your care to reliable dentists who can deliver the best possible results because of the professional-grade gels and products used to whiten teeth. Instead of just removing surface stains, our whitening goes beneath the surface to eliminate deeper, set-in stains.

Does Teeth Whitening Damage Enamel?

No, you do not need to worry about teeth whitening damaging your tooth enamel, but it is necessary that you discuss your oral and overall health history with your dentist beforehand. If you suffer from tooth decay or gum disease, we will help you address those issues before you pursue teeth whitening.

Apart from the status of your oral health, it is strongly recommended that you avoid do-it-yourself teeth whitening solutions (for example, activated charcoal), that can damage tooth enamel because of how abrasive it can be.

Does Teeth Whitening Work On Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are not porous like traditional tooth enamel, so they cannot absorb whitening solutions. They can stain and darken though. It is important that once you have a dental crown in place, you continue to brush and take proper care of your smile to avoid staining and prevent oral health problems.

Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Yes, professional teeth whitening is a safe cosmetic solution as long as you choose to see a qualified dentist. At McCarl Dental Group, PC, we are pleased to help you improve the brightness of your smile gradually with a custom professional whitening kit. By opting to whiten your teeth professionally, you can achieve excellent results and decrease problems with tooth sensitivity.