You can find over the counter teeth bleaching products in any supermarket. Although there is some evidence of these treatments’ effectiveness, visiting an experienced La Jolla dentist for teeth whitening can ensure better, more consistent results.
The team at La Jolla Family Smile Design is dedicated to cosmetic dentistry that reflects the sense of quality each one of our patients in La Jolla expects. Please contact our office today to schedule an appointment to discuss your teeth whitening options.
Types of Tooth Stains
Tooth stains are categorized as intrinsic or extrinsic.
Extrinsic stains affect the outer layer of tooth structure called enamel. Common causes of extrinsic stains include smoking and the consumption of dark-colored foods or beverages (e.g., coffee, tea, red wine, cola). Extrinsic stains usually respond well to teeth whitening treatment.
Intrinsic stains exist on the dentin, or the hard layer of material beneath the enamel. Common causes of intrinsic tooth stains include overexposure to fluoride and the use of certain medications, such as tetracycline. It is more difficult to improve intrinsic stains, but it can be done.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
If you’ve had limited success with at-home bleaching strips or pre-fabricated trays, visiting our La Jolla office for professional teeth whitening might provide your smile the bright, healthy shine you want. We have found that Zoom Whitening tends to be an effective solution for removing stains deeply embedded in the teeth.
Tooth whitening with Zoom Whitening consists of three applications lasting about 15 minutes each, meaning you can enjoy a whiter smile in just one appointment lasting less than an hour. Other benefits of this teeth bleaching treatment include:
- 40 percent hydrogen peroxide gel is significantly more powerful than OTC options
- Whitening gel penetrates deep within the dentin to remove stubborn discoloration
- Potassium nitrate reduces tooth sensitivity
- Fluoride helps protect teeth from decay
- Treatment is chemically activated, meaning you don’t have to sit under a hot, uncomfortable light like some other whitening systems
A member of our team will carefully apply the Zoom Whitening gel to your teeth for both applications. All you have to do is sit back and relax while treatment proceeds.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
Though Zoom Whitening reliably delivers long-lasting results, sometimes it’s necessary to touch up your smile to add extra shine. Though you could visit our La Jolla office for another whitening session, we might recommend at-home treatment for maintaining a becoming color.
Take-home teeth whitening treatment provided by one of our dentists varies from mass-produced options in several respects:
- Depending on your needs, the concentration of hydrogen peroxide is often more powerful
- Custom trays perfectly fit the unique shape of your teeth, rather than one-size-fits-all
- Reduced risk of sensitivity
- Gel is formulated to discourage dehydration, keeping your smile looking natural
Our dentists will explain how often and how long you should undergo take-home teeth whitening to maintain results.
Teeth Whitening FAQ
Does teeth whitening hurt?
Teeth whitening does not hurt, but sometimes the teeth can feel sensitive after treatment. One of the advantages of in-office, professional teeth whitening is that our team can control the concentration of the bleaching agent. If you have a history of sensitive teeth, we can adjust the peroxide in the whitening gel as needed to minimize any discomfort.
How much does teeth whitening cost?
The cost of teeth whitening varies, depending on factors such as the system and products used. For example, in-office teeth whitening is generally more expensive than take-home trays. Our team can give you more specific pricing information over the phone.
Is teeth whitening covered by insurance?
No, teeth whitening is considered an elective cosmetic treatment. Dental insurance typically does not cover the cost of teeth whitening.
How long will my whitening results last?
That depends. If you do not brush or floss regularly, and you expose your newly whitened teeth to foods and beverages that could stain (e.g., coffee, red wine, tea), your results may start to fade quickly. It is recommended you brush and floss daily, avoid tea and coffee (or drink through a straw) and visit our office annually to maintain your whitening results. An occasional touch-up might also help prolong your results.
Will teeth whitening damage my tooth enamel?
No. Studies have shown that teeth whitening products do not affect the tooth’s enamel. Millions of people have safely had teeth whitening with no side effects to their enamel.
If bleaching products from the store haven’t lifted stains from your teeth, please contact La Jolla Family Smile Design today to schedule your teeth whitening appointment. We serve patients throughout the San Diego area from our office in La Jolla.