About Teeth Whitening
Dull, dingy teeth can be quite embarrassing. If yellowed tooth enamel is causing you to hide your smile and feel less confident, the Houston teeth whitening services at the dental practice of Ronald Konig, DDS, may be right for you.
Teeth whitening is a safe, fast, and effective way to remove stains from the surface of your teeth. If your stains are deeper, such as those caused by tetracycline or fluorosis, however, a topical solution may not be the best option. Working with a trusted cosmetic dentist like Dr. Konig helps ensure the proper treatment is provided so that even these more stubborn stains can be treated. During your initial consultation, Dr. Konig will carefully assess your smile and discuss all of your options to help you choose the right method of tooth whitening for your specific needs.
To schedule a teeth whitening consultation, or to learn more about cosmetic dental procedures with Houston cosmetic dentist Dr. Ronald Konig, please call 713-668-2289 today. Dr. Konig serves the Texas communities of Katy, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, and all surrounding areas.
How does teeth whitening whiten teeth?
Contrary to some thinking, teeth whitening isn’t an unlimited proposition. The goal is to return the patient’s teeth to their natural, bright white color. The way whitening agents accomplish this isn’t unlike the way detergents remove stains from clothing. In our whitening options, DayWhite and NightWhite, the whitening agents are hydrogen peroxide (DayWhite) and carbamide peroxide (NightWhite). Because your teeth are porous, they stain. These agents penetrate into the enamel and break down the stains. Whitening programs usually whiten the teeth from three to eight shades.
Who is a candidate for teeth whitening?
Unless you have porcelain veneers on your teeth, pretty much everyone could use some teeth whitening. What we eat and drink tend to deposit stains in our tooth enamel, which is somewhat porous (to enable our teeth to breathe). Plus, as we age, our enamel becomes thinner and more of the second layer of our teeth, the dentin, shows through. The dentin is a yellow color, and that’s why older teeth can begin to appear more yellow.
If the stains on your teeth are in the dentin rather than the outer enamel teeth whitening isn’t what you need. That’s because these stains — often a reaction to tetracycline given to us as children or from trauma to a tooth — are in the dentin layer of the teeth. Teeth whitening only removes stains from the enamel, the outer layer. If you have widespread staining from tetracycline, having Dr. Konig apply porcelain veneers to the visible front surfaces of your teeth is a better solution.
Also, if you have gum disease or other active problems with your oral health, you’re not eligible for teeth whitening treatments. The oral health issues need to be addressed first, and then we can provide you DayWhite or NightWhite treatment materials.
DayWhite & NightWhite
Dr. Konig is pleased to offer professional teeth whitening with DayWhite and NightWhite, powerful take-home options from Philips Zoom that are not available over the counter. DayWhite is a hydrogen peroxide solution that brightens teeth over the course of a few weeks. This treatment comes in varying strengths – up to 14% - to address all level of surface staining. Safe and effective, DayWhite is applied to teeth in 60 to 90 minute sessions. With consistent use, it can produce remarkable results in as few as 14 days.
NightWhite is a carbamide peroxide solution that offers results in as little as three days. Worn overnight or for at least three to four hours a day, NightWhite quickly penetrates stains to reveal the bright and attractive enamel beneath. NightWhite comes in varying strengths, allowing Dr. Konig to address the exact needs of each patient for optimal results.
Teeth Whitening and Tooth Sensitivity
One of the biggest problems with peroxide tooth whiteners is their tendency to cause discomfort. Part of this has to do with how these solutions are typically applied. Store-bought kits, even those with “boil and bite” application trays, are fairly inefficient at keeping solution from seeping. This not only increases risks of sensitivity and soft tissue irritation, it can result in very inconsistent results. To counter this, the application trays supplied by our office are molded precisely to your teeth, reducing risks of seepage while helping to improve results.
In addition to more controlled application of the bleaching solution, DayWhite and NightWhite are formulated with amorphous calcium phosphate and potassium nitrate, both of which work to reduce sensitivity. These teeth whiteners also contain fluoride, helping to strengthen enamel even as it is being whitened to allow for teeth that are as strong and healthy as they are brilliant and white.
How many treatments will I need for my teeth whitening?
DayWhite takes more time, up to 14 days. NightWhite can deliver your whitening more quickly, in as few as 3 nighttime treatments. Dr. Konig can vary the strength of your peroxide solutions to cater to your individual situation and how you seek to wear your whitening trays at home.
Common Causes of Tooth Stains
Tooth whitening can remove some of the toughest teeth stains, including those caused by:
- Red wine
- Staining foods (tomato sauce, soy sauce, blueberries, etc.)
- Sports drinks
These stains rest on top of tooth enamel, causing a dingy or discolored appearance. These stains also respond very well to topical teeth whiteners. DayWhite and NightWhite are professionally formulated to remove tough stains from the teeth, but they may not be able to address those stains that are underneath tooth enamel. For those, Dr. Konig may recommend a different cosmetic option such as porcelain veneers or dental bonding. During your initial consultation, we can discuss all of these options in greater detail.
Can Teeth Whitening damage my Teeth?
The American Dental Association has done numerous studies on teeth whitening, covering decades of procedures, and has concluded that teeth whitening is safe and has given its approval to various products (including the treatments we provide at Dr. Konig’s). There are not any recorded instances of irreversible or structural damage caused by whitening programs.
How long will my teeth stay white after teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is not permanent. The same foods and drinks that stained your teeth before will stain them again. But you don’t have to give up red wine or eating raspberries to keep your teeth white. Whether you opted for our DayWhite or NightWhite professional at-home treatments, you’ll simply need to purchase a new supply of whitening gel. Then you can perform periodic whitening maintenance at home.
Home hygiene also makes a difference. Using whitening toothpaste (ADA approved, of course), and brushing for two minutes twice daily is important. Plus, coming in for twice-yearly professional cleanings with Dr. Konig and our team is equally important to keeping your teeth their whitest.
Generally, you can expect to get about one year out of your teeth whitening treatments from Dr. Konig.
How long will it take to see my results from teeth whitening?
Both of our options from Philips Zoom are only available through dental offices. Because both DayWhite and NightWhite require repeat treatments, your results will begin to show up immediately, and they will continue to become brighter over the full duration of your treatments.
DayWhite is used daily for 60-90 minutes. In about two weeks you’ll see your full final whiteness. NightWhite works more quickly, as the trays are worn for longer periods, preferably overnight. NightWhite can work its magic in as little as three days.