Teeth Whitening – Greenbelt, MD
Brighter, More Beautiful Smiles
Professional teeth whitening is one of the more popular cosmetic dentistry service we provide at McCarl Dental Group. 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. At McCarl Dental Group, 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, call our dental office in Greenbelt or Millersville, Maryland to schedule a cosmetic dentistry consultation with one of our caring dentists.
Why do Teeth Stain?
There are many reasons why teeth become stained, and in order 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
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
If you’re in our dental office for teeth whitening, chances are you 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. This means you’re less likely to see any change in the shade of your smile. 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 they Results Typically last?
Everyone is different, but after teeth whitening, you should 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
The cost of teeth whitening is dependent on various factors that will be determined during your initial consultation with our team. When meeting with a member of McCarl Dental Group, 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, 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.
- 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 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. Offering clear, detailed answers, we hope to provide deeper insight should you be thinking about choosing us to achieve your smile dreams. 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?
Unfortunately, it is impossible to whiten customized restorations beyond their original shade. 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, we are pleased to have 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.