Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a great way to make your smile look younger and your teeth look brighter. Our professional whitening treatments, performed by Dr. Mitchell Shapiro, can lift years’ worth of sub-surface stain caused by foods we eat and drink daily, including coffee, tomato sauces and even sports drinks, and safely whiten the natural color of your tooth enamel. Teeth whitening can even benefit teens who have genetically dark teeth.  Our patients love this system, whether done in office, or through one of our prescribed kits, we can make a significant impact on the look of your smile.

After Zoom tooth whitening

After Zoom whitening.
A very happy patient!

Before Zoom tooth whitening

Before Zoom whitening.
Sue (age 24).

Why is Teeth Whitening Necessary?

Your teeth are a major component in the quality of your smile. If they are discolored, your smile and your confidence suffer. You may find that you are doing everything that you can to hide your teeth, and your smile, from those around you. You should not have to do this. At The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, we can help to restore the dazzling white color of your teeth and give you back your confident smile.

Stained teeth are often a side effect of:

A happy patient smiling after she received teeth whitening.

A happy patient smiling after she received teeth whitening.

  • Tobacco use
  • Red wine
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda
  • Medications
  • Genetics
  • Developmental factors
  • Poor oral hygiene

Thankfully, whitening can help erase all of these stains and help your enamel look even and brighter across the entire tooth surface.

What Types of Teeth Whitening are There?

Whitening trays are perfect for convenient, at-home teeth whitening.

Whitening trays are perfect for convenient, at-home teeth whitening.

The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry offers two types of whitening for you to choose from:

  1. In-Office Zoom Whitening: We use Phillips Zoom whitening to get teeth to their brightest shade yet. This one hour procedure jump starts your whitening process to give you teeth that are several shades lighter in just one appointment. Dr. Shapiro even provides home whitening trays free of charge after whitening to maintain or even improve on your results. Zoom teeth whitening is perfect for your big day, whether it’s a graduation, wedding, job interview or just to spoil yourself.
  2. Take-Home Whitening Kits: Our take home whitening trays are custom-fit to snugly wrap around your natural smile. When paired with our prescription whitening gel, your professional home kit can give you optimal results in just 10-14 days. Refill kits are always available to keep your smile bright for years to come.

Both whitening options give you great results that can’t be matched by anything that you purchase over the counter. We can even whiten your teeth before you start other cosmetic dental treatment like veneers, bonding or Invisalign.

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

While professional teeth whitening is incredibly effective for restoring the bright white color of your teeth, it is not a permanent treatment. The exact length of time your whitening lasts varies from person to person. On average, whitening can last 2 to 3 years. Keep in mind that the same factors that caused your teeth to become discolored in the first place, whether it is what you eat, the fact that you smoke, or something else, can contribute to discoloration again.

What can I do to Prolong the Results of Teeth Whitening?

The effects of teeth whitening do not last forever, and the same issues that led to your tooth discoloration in the first place can lead to new discoloration, once again dulling your beautiful smile. While whitening may not be permanent, there are things that you can do to prolong the results.

You can maintain a brilliant smile after teeth whitening with proper oral care.

You can maintain a brilliant smile after teeth whitening with proper oral care.

  • Limit foods and beverages that stain.
  • Follow dark pigmented foods and beverages with water.
  • Brush and floss your teeth regularly.
  • Quit smoking or other tobacco products.
  • Have your teeth cleaned and examined every 6
  • Have your teeth periodically touched up.

Does Teeth Whitening Damage My Teeth?

A common question about teeth whitening is if it can cause damage to your teeth. The short answer is no.

  • Overall, Teeth Whitening is Safe: Teeth whitening is a safe and effective procedure. Even professional whitening, which contains higher concentrations of bleaching agents, will not cause damage. We are highly experienced in performing in-office whitening treatments, ensuring your safety and the health of your teeth.
  • Follow at-Home Instructions: If you are using whitening trays to whiten your teeth at home, it is important that you follow the instructions provided to you when you receive your trays and bleaching agent. Whitening agents open up the inner channels of the teeth so that the active ingredients can penetrate the teeth and eliminate more stubborn stains.
  • Avoid Whitening if Pregnant: Even though whitening is considered a safe procedure, it is not recommended for pregnant or nursing mothers.

Is Continued Teeth Whitening bad for My Teeth?

Teeth whitening is safe and does not damage your teeth.

Teeth whitening is safe and does not damage your teeth.

Following the instructions for teeth whitening is important. Only use whitening trays for as long as discussed during your consultation. While whitening is safe, prolonged use can weaken your enamel. Continued use can also irritate your gums as well as increase the likelihood of tooth sensitivity.

Does Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity?

Speaking of tooth sensitivity, this issue is one of the most common complaints of teeth whitening, particularly of those who are using whitening trays. While undergoing teeth whitening treatment, the bleaching agent opens the inner channels of your teeth, leaving them more susceptible to experiencing sensitivity. Those who already have sensitive teeth are at a greater risk for developing these issues when it comes to whitening.

What Should I do if My Teeth Become Sensitive?

If your teeth become sensitive during your whitening treatment, do not worry. This sensitivity is only temporary. There are ways that you can manage sensitivity during your whitening treatment.

  • Special Toothpaste: Use toothpaste that is specifically formulated for tooth sensitivity. You may even want to use this type of toothpaste a few weeks before you begin the whitening process to help build up a bit of resistance.
  • Brush Gently: When you brush your teeth, do so gently and use lukewarm water instead of cold water.
  • Avoid Hot or Cold: For a few days after your in-office whitening, or during your at-home whitening treatment, avoid eating or drinking anything hot or cold.
  • Use a Straw: If you want to drink a cold beverage, do so through a straw. This helps the liquid to bypass your teeth, thereby avoiding triggering sensitivity.

If you have sensitive teeth or know that your teeth are prone to becoming sensitive, speak with us before undergoing whitening. There are some whiteners that are specially formulated for sensitive teeth, which can help to avoid the issue in the first place.

Will Teeth Whitening Work Even if My Teeth are Very Stained?

Teeth whitening before and after highlights how effective whitening is.

Teeth whitening before and after highlights how effective whitening is.

  • Most Effective with Yellow & Brown Stains: Professional teeth whitening is the most effective option when it comes to eliminating discoloration from your teeth. However, it is more effective for certain types of stains than on others. Teeth whitening is very effective for treating stains that are yellowish or brown in color. These stains are typically caused by foods, beverages, smoking, and even as a result of aging.
  • Less Effective with Trauma & Medications: Whitening tends to be less effective on stains that are caused by tetracycline medications, discoloration caused by dental trauma, and fluorosis. In certain instances, whitening can make this type of discoloration, which tends to be grayish or purple, more noticeable. During your initial consultation, we will thoroughly examine your teeth to determine the type of staining on your teeth and if whitening will be the most effective treatment for you.

We can determine how many in-office treatments you might need to achieve the desired results or how long you should use whitening trays at home. If it is determined that your stains cannot be effectively whitened, we can suggest alternative treatments to give your teeth a bright white appearance and enhance the beauty of your smile. Common alternative treatments include such treatments as dental bonding and porcelain veneers.

Is Teeth Whitening Covered by Dental Insurance?

Dental insurance does not generally cover the cost of teeth whitening, as this procedure is of a cosmetic nature. Dental insurance generally only covers the cost of procedures strictly related to the health and wellness of your mouth. Cosmetic procedures are typically not covered. If you are uncertain of whether or not your dental insurance covers whitening or any other types of cosmetic procedures, you can always contact the company directly to make sure. We will go over your options with you, and how much they cost, to help determine the best solution to meet your needs.

Ready to Schedule Your Teeth Whitening Appointment?

Teeth whitening is a safe, effective way to restore the bright white brilliance to your smile, allowing you to smile confidently. While not permanent, there are ways that you can ensure that your results last. For more information on teeth whitening, and to schedule your consultation, call The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry today at (631) 982-9669 today!