Teeth whitening treatments from Dr. Richard C. Ribeiro can brighten your smile by up to seven shades in just one visit to his Clarksville, TN, practice. He also offers take-home whitening kits that feature comfortable trays that remain in place for about 30 minutes at a time. Aside from your whiter smile, you can except an increase in confidence and a greater urge to smile more often.
What Causes Dental Stains?
Dental stains come in two varieties: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic dental stains are found on the surfaces of teeth. The foods and drinks we consume on a regular basis generally cause these types of stains. Dark beverages like coffee, tea, and red wine are some of the most common culprits. Not only are these beverages dark, but because we sip them, they remain in contact with the teeth longer. This increases their staining potential. Tobacco use also causes extrinsic dental stains.
Intrinsic stains are internal stains. These may result from trauma to the tooth, too much fluoride as a child, or the use of tetracycline. Unfortunately, because these stains are on the inside of the tooth, teeth whitening is an ineffective treatment. Most patients with intrinsic stains are better suited to another cosmetic procedure, like porcelain veneers.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
The whitening process takes an hour or less to complete. However, we recommend that you have a regular hygienic dental cleaning right before your teeth are whitened for the best results. Dr. Ribeiro will also examine your teeth to make sure you have no decay, cracks in your teeth, or gum disease, which could cause irritation during the whitening process. We will then apply the whitening solution to your teeth while protecting your gums and soft tissues. Usually, the solution is applied, cleaned off, and reapplied two to three times to reach the desired shade.
Professional teeth whitening gels contain higher levels of peroxide to bleach the teeth in a shorter period of time. Unfortunately, if you have sensitive teeth, this treatment could make your condition worse. The solution will remain on your teeth for a set period of time, and Dr. Ribeiro may use a light to activate the gel and enhance the results.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening
Take-home teeth whitening can achieve the same results as in-office whitening, but it takes a little longer. First, you will come in to our office to get you whitening trays and gel. At home, you will use a syringe to insert the gel into the trays. You will then fit the trays over your teeth.
You will leave the trays in place for about 15 to 30 minutes, although some take-home systems require overnight wear. After you remove the trays, you will brush and rinse your teeth. Most patients need to continue this routine for about two weeks to achieve their desired results.
Benefits of a Brighter Smile
Teeth whitening is a simple and effective way to get a more beautiful smile. In-office treatments are quick, but take-home options offer the comfort and convenience of whitening from home. Regardless of which option you choose, you will have a whiter smile that you can feel confident in showing off.