Reflections Dental Spa
Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

I’m interested in learning if teeth whitening’s an option for me. Can you tell me more about the process?

Whitening is one of the most conservative ways to improve your smile. Discoloration or staining of your teeth can be caused be multiple factors like failing restorations, diet, smoking, etc. It is critical to have your dentist check the underlying conditions before starting a whitening treatment.

Whitening is not recommended if you have any current decay since the gel can cause increased sensitivity and pain. Untreated gum problems can increase the risk of tissue burn with whitening products. However, in many cases, a thorough cleaning may be all you need to remove a lot of the heavy stains to give you an immediate whitening experience!

Over the years, teeth whitening products have been tested for their safety. Since whitening products remove stains by opening pores in the dental enamel, some sensitivity is normal, but is usually temporary.

But the Hollywood influence has resulted in a lot of abuse with whitening products in search of the elusive Hollywood smile. Extensive use without supervision can cause extreme sensitivity and irreversible nerve damage issues.

Each person’s teeth react to whitening procedures differently depending on the intrinsic whitening capacity, strength and duration of the whitening product use and prior whitening exposures. No one can guarantee a particular shade, but significant improvement can be achieved in most cases. The presence of crowns, veneers or anterior restorations can limit the extent of your results since only teeth can be whitened, not your restorations.

Over the counter whitening products are not regulated by the dental profession, and using these products without the supervision of your dentist can cause significant damage including tissue sensitivity, nerve damage, and tissue burn.

At our San Ramon Office, we offer multiple options to cater to our patients’ wishes, needs, and dental condition. We come to know you and your teeth and what we think would work best for your individual situation. You can maintain your beautiful smile by limiting stain-producing foods and doing a whitening touch up once or twice a year at your dentist or at home with custom whitening trays. 

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