Teeth whitening is a simple, non-invasive, and powerful treatment designed to brighten the color of your teeth and erase severe stains and discoloration. Not only can teeth bleaching whiten the surface of the enamel, but our professional whitening systems also have the strength to reach deep discoloration often residing in the inner tooth (dentin).
Dull, yellow, or stained teeth are an aesthetic concern that can prematurely age patients, as well as take away from the beauty of their appearance. Our highly skilled cosmetic dentist in Bankers Hill, Dr. Mark Griffiths, can restore the youthful brilliance of whiter, healthier-looking teeth and help you achieve a more dazzling smile. He offers both professional in-office treatment and take-home whitening kits to accommodate a wide range of patient preferences.
- Reasons for Teeth Whitening
- Teeth Whitening Procedure
- Teeth Whitening Cost
- Managing Teeth Whitening Sensitivity
Common Reasons to Whiten Teeth
Due to the simplicity of treatment and the dynamic results often achieved with teeth whitening, individuals of all ages may choose to undergo teeth bleaching to improve:
- Brown or yellow stains due to smoking/your diet
- Discoloration due to fluorosis (too much fluoride during the development of the teeth)
- Stains caused by certain medications
- Normal wear of the enamel
Teeth whitening is also frequently incorporated into an all-encompassing smile makeover for patients who are interested in enhancing multiple cosmetic concerns at once, such as short teeth, discoloration, gaps, chips, asymmetry, and more. For single teeth that have been severely discolored or browned, Dr. Griffiths may recommend porcelain veneers to more effectively restore a whiter sheen to your smile.
How is the Teeth Whitening Procedure Performed?
Teeth whitening is a very versatile cosmetic dentistry treatment that can be undertaken at your convenience. While professional in-office teeth whitening can give you a brighter smile immediately after your appointment, Dr. Griffiths also offers custom at-home teeth whitening kits so you can lighten your teeth within the comfort of your own surroundings.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
If you opt to undergo an in-office teeth bleaching treatment, the process typically takes one hour. At our practice, teeth whitening with the powerful Zoom!® system can often lighten your enamel by several shades in the course of a single appointment. Mild to moderate sensitivity is a common reaction, and Dr. Griffiths encourages you to communicate your needs so he can adjust the amount of whitening product utilized as necessary. He will fully explain the different whitening options available, as well as the nature of your treatment, in person.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
The process for at-home teeth whitening involves two dental appointments, during which Dr. Griffiths will create special molds of your teeth to produce custom-designed teeth whitening trays. After a discussion of your whitening goals, Dr. Griffiths will take impressions of your bite and confirm the most beneficial treatment plan for you. Your whitening trays will then be crafted at an advanced dental lab. At your second appointment, Dr. Griffiths will ensure your new whitening trays fit properly and go over your whitening regimen. Depending on your needs and the current state of your smile, you may be instructed to wear your trays overnight or twice a day for the next few weeks. At the end of your treatment plan, you should be able to enjoy a powerful lightening of your enamel and a brighter, younger-looking smile.
How Much Does Teeth Whitening Cost?
Teeth whitening costs vary based on the method of teeth whitening, the extent of teeth bleaching necessary, and your overall smile goals. In San Diego, the price of teeth whitening normally ranges from $275 to $600 depending on the unique factors of your treatment plan. Dr. Griffiths and our team will be able to present you with a personalized cost estimate once your needs are evaluated in a consultation. Although teeth whitening is an elective treatment option not usually covered by dental insurance, financing through CareCredit® can be a popular option for patients who may be looking for a more affordable way to whiten their teeth. Once approved, qualified candidates can choose the best short- or long-term payment plan for their unique budgetary concerns. In many cases, the financing plans available with CareCredit® can offer the benefit of low- to no-interest rates. Our office would be happy to discuss the cost of teeth whitening with you further if you have any other questions or concerns.
How to Manage Sensitivity After Teeth Whitening
Teeth sensitivity after a professional whitening treatment is both an extremely common and completely normal occurrence. Any tenderness or sensitivity should naturally subside in the hours following your appointment, but a few simple at-home tips can help you manage discomfort in the meantime:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Stay away from very hot or very cold food/drink until sensitivity abates
- Utilize dental products specifically designed to reduce teeth sensitivity, which Dr. Griffiths can recommend to you at the time of your treatment
- Reduce how often you whiten your teeth
- Apply less whitening gel if you are using an at-home whitening kit
If you know your teeth are prone to sensitivity, please don’t hesitate to communicate your needs to Dr. Griffiths. He can tailor your teeth whitening treatment to your preferences and utilize a less powerful or more comfortable teeth bleaching system if necessary.
It’s important to remember that teeth whitening doesn’t produce permanent results, so it can be beneficial to schedule regular touch-up treatments and/or limit your consumption of foods and beverages that could stain your smile, such as wine, tea, soda and coffee. Smoking can also deeply discolor the teeth and darken your enamel. Annual teeth whitening treatments can be key to maintaining a beautiful, white smile.
For more information on teeth whitening at Griffiths Smiles or our other cosmetic dentistry solutions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Bankers Hill-area practice today.