You might be surprised to learn how simple and affordable professional teeth whitening can be. Our Annapolis dental office offers several types of professional treatment options. For dramatic results: Zoom in-office whitening, KöR Teeth Whitening, GLO Science, and custom bleaching trays for at-home whitening. Our products are specially formulated and chosen for their ability to both maximize results and reduce tooth sensitivity.
Professional whitening can improve your smile by eight or more shades and lasts longer than over-the-counter whitening solutions.
Professional teeth whitening recommended specifically for you and supervised by your dentist will provide safer, longer-lasting results customized to your oral health and cosmetic needs. Dr. Lee and our associates take the time to evaluate the cause of your stains or tooth discoloration, the condition of your tooth enamel, and gum health when recommending a product for you.
What Causes Tooth Discoloration?
Tooth discoloration happens due to many different things. Everyone experiences tooth discoloration at some point in their lives — especially because age is one of those discoloration causes. As we age, the bright white enamel layer on the outside of our teeth wears down, exposing more of the off-white dentin layer underneath.
Consuming certain foods and drinks makes you more likely to have tooth discoloration. Red wine, coffee, black tea, and strawberries can all cause tooth discoloration. The more you consume these things, the more likely you will experience discoloration. When it’s beverages, using a straw can help minimize the contact it makes with your teeth.
Lifestyle habits discolor your teeth, too. Tobacco use is one of the biggest culprits. It doesn’t matter what way you consume it — it can still discolor your teeth. The tar and other chemicals in it make your teeth yellow and brown. The same staining colors can occur if you’re not caring for your teeth properly. Plaque and tartar buildup start to stain the surface of your teeth.
When you take certain medication, particularly during your childhood when your permanent teeth are developing, they can cause permanent staining. Trauma can cause this as well. Some tooth trauma completely cuts the blood flow to your tooth. It turns into a “dead” tooth and becomes discolored
Professional Teeth Whitening Options in Annapolis, MD
We offer multiple different options to whiten your teeth at our office.
Zoom Teeth Whitening
Zoom is the leading tooth whitening system developed by Discus Dental. The unique gel formula contains pH-balanced hydrogen peroxide that penetrates tooth enamel when activated by a special light to lift and remove deep stains and discoloration. With Zoom whitening, the results are usually instant and continue to improve over several days following your treatment.
Before tooth whitening treatment, we recommend patients start with a clean, healthy mouth. If you have not had a teeth cleaning for some time, we recommend completing this first to support the best possible results from your whitening treatment.
If you’re having Zoom in-office whitening treatment, the dentist will isolate your teeth by covering your lips and gums. The Zoom whitening gel is applied to your teeth. You will relax under a special light so the gel can take effect. Treatment lasts about 45 minutes.
KOR Teeth Whitening
KöR Teeth Whitening offers dramatic results that can even successfully treat tetracycline-stained teeth.
The proprietary KöR Teeth Whitening system uses refrigeration and the science of Tri-Barrel™ Hydremide® Peroxide Technology to deliver bleaching agents that can act on the surface of the teeth for an extended period of time when compared to other treatment options. Depending on your unique needs, we will recommend the appropriate number of weeks for the at-home treatment phase.
Your Annapolis dentist will provide a set of unique KöR-Seal™ trays to reduce saliva infiltration during your at-home treatment.
In most cases, we recommend you complete your process with a final in-office treatment. Results from a KoR whitening treatment are often considered permanent, but periodic touch-ups can boost gradual changes due to lifestyle habits and aging.
GLO Science Professional
GLO Science offers patients both in-office and take-home options depending on their needs and goals. GLO Science products are specially formulated to significantly minimize sensitivity and to help protect and preserve tooth enamel.
Take-home Teeth Whitening
For at-home whitening treatment, the dentist will create a custom bleaching tray from a mold of your teeth. Professional strength bleaching gel will be provided. Bleaching trays can be worn overnight or for one to two hours each day for up to 2 weeks. Refill bleaching gel is available for touch-ups and maintenance whitening.
At-home whitening usually takes approximately two weeks, and improvements will be noticeable as your treatment progresses. Results can last several months or years, especially with proper care and maintenance. Avoiding dark foods and beverages, and tobacco can ensure your smile stays bright and white.
Teeth Whitening FAQs
Will the teeth whitening procedure leave my teeth sensitive?
Some patients experience tooth sensitivity after a teeth whitening procedure. This is a temporary issue and will go away on its own. Teeth whitening exposes fresh tooth enamel that stains have buried. This is what causes the temporary sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity will die down once your enamel gets used to the treatment.
Am I a good candidate for teeth whitening?
Almost anyone with stained or discolored teeth can achieve a brighter smile with professional teeth whitening. Although, treatment may not be as effective for some patients as it is for others. Our cosmetic dentists will examine your teeth to determine if whitening is a good choice for your smile. We can also provide alternative cosmetic and restorative options for teeth that do not whiten with traditional teeth whitening products.
Is teeth whitening permanent?
No, all teeth whitening procedures, whether at the dentist or store-bought, are only temporary and require routine treatments. To elongate your results, we suggest reducing drinks with dark pigments (coffee, tea, soda) and avoiding foods high in sugar, as these can promote plaque buildup (plaque can make stains more apparent). If you have any questions about preventing teeth stains or removing them, then please contact our Annapolis dentist office today.
How long do my teeth stay white after whitening?
This can vary. Everyone’s teeth are different and respond to whitening treatment in different ways. What may last longer for you may not work well for someone else. It also depends on your lifestyle habits. Smoking and drinking staining beverages mean your whitening results won’t last as long with someone without those habits. On average, teeth whitening can last six months to three years.
When will I see the full results of teeth whitening treatment?
If you choose one of the in-office whitening options, you see the full results in a day or two after completing the treatment. Since take-home whitening is a more gradual process, seeing the full results also takes a bit longer. You can see the full effect in a couple of weeks.
Should I get my teeth cleaned before or after whitening treatment?
If you’re going to get your teeth whitened, you’ll see the best results if they’ve been freshly cleaned. We recommend that you schedule your dental cleaning and whitening treatments on the same day at our office. If you opt for take-home whitening, a dental cleaning is recommended before the treatment begins.
How often can I get my teeth whitened?
Even though professional whitening products are designed to minimize tooth sensitivity, sensitivity can worsen if you whiten your teeth too often. You also risk them becoming too white and your smile looking eerie and unnatural with the rest of your face. We recommend that you whiten your teeth only once or twice a year. Most whitening results last around six months to a year, so you can continue to have a white smile.
How long do I have to wait to eat after teeth whitening treatment?
You can eat directly after teeth whitening. However, we recommend avoiding certain foods for about 48 hours after treatment. Your teeth are more susceptible to staining right after whitening. Avoid coffee, tea, strawberries, or other foods and beverages that stain your teeth.