The team at Ingber Dental are leading teeth whitening providers who have helped numerous patients enjoy dazzling white smiles. We don’t believe that tooth whitening is a cookie-cutter procedure; instead, we perform a thorough teeth evaluation prior to recommending the most suitable whitening option to a patient, based on his or her needs.
Common Causes of Tooth Stains
Our teeth whitening patients may have stains or discoloration from any of the following factors:
- Smoking: nicotine residue on the teeth may cause them to look yellowish
- Age: teeth may darken due to natural wear and tear
- Eating habits: coffee, black tea, red wine, carrots and oranges may cause discoloration
- Drugs: certain medications, such as tetracycline, may cause dark stains on the surface of the teeth
- Injury/trauma: cracked or broken teeth collect debris in the tiny openings, causing teeth to appear darker
Candidates for Teeth Whitening
Suitable candidates for teeth whitening desire brighter, more beautiful looking teeth. They should be in good oral health without any cavities, other areas of decay or gum disease.
Teeth whitening candidates will see the best results if they do not have veneers, crowns or dental bonding on front-facing teeth, as those restorations do not respond to whitening treatment. For candidates that have restorations and desire whitening, our dentists may recommend replacing the restorations to match the results of teeth whitening treatment.
Individuals who are prone to tooth or gum sensitivity should discuss their options with our team to find the best solution.
Options: Home vs. In-Office Treatment
Some people prefer over-the-counter teeth whitening systems that they can use in the comfort of their own homes. However, dentist-supervised, in-office whitening treatments are the safest, fastest and most effective methods for brightening the teeth. In-office treatments are also a good option for anyone who is concerned with tooth or gum sensitivity, because we can control the treatment or use a desensitizer.
Zoom! Teeth Whitening
The Zoom! teeth whitening system is an in-office treatment that delivers remarkable results in less than an hour. The Zoom! system involves a powerful whitening solution that is applied to the teeth and activated with a special chair-side lamp.
How Does Teeth Whitening Treatment Work?
First, we place shields over the gums to protect them from the whitening product. We coat the teeth with the whitening solution and use a special chair-side lamp to activate the gel and accelerate the whitening process. This light helps the whitening solution penetrate the tooth enamel. After about 15 minutes, the lamp is removed. More whitening solution is applied, and the process repeats itself once or twice. Most patients receive three treatments, which takes about 45 minutes.
The Zoom! in-office treatment can lighten the teeth up to nine shades; this significantly improves the overall appearance of the smile. Often, a person’s self-confidence increases as well.
The results of teeth whitening treatment will depend on the severity of the staining, the number of treatments the patient has and whether they comply with the dentist’s instructions.
Maintaining the Results of Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening can lift stains and whiten teeth, but the treatment does not make teeth any less vulnerable to future staining. The best way to prolong the results of teeth whitening treatment and enjoy white, bright teeth for many years is to follow good at-home hygiene habits and avoid stain-producing habits.
In particular, it is critical to avoid smoking as well as eating and drinking highly pigmented foods and beverages. Our dentists recommend refraining from consuming coffee, tea, wine, soda, berries, curry, tomato sauce and similar foods.
Touch-up treatments can help to maintain the results of teeth whitening treatment. The frequency of touch-up treatments is up to our dentists’ discretion; some patients benefit from a yearly touch-up treatment whereas others need more or less frequent touch-ups.
Benefits of Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is a quick and cost-effective way to brighten up a dull or lackluster smile. In an hour or less, systems like Zoom! whitening can break up deep-set stains and revitalize the tooth color for a more stunning smile. Teeth whitening treatment can also be easily combined with other cosmetic dentistry treatments for a complete smile makeover.
With a whiter, brighter smile, many of our patients experience a tremendous boost in self-confidence. Their newly whitened smiles project a youthful, energetic spirit. Some of our whitening patients discover that they are more open to pursuing new professional or personal opportunities because they feel so confident with their smile and comfortable in their own skin.
When performed by a qualified cosmetic dentist, teeth whitening is very safe. Our dentists have solutions to minimize sensitivity and other complications that can arise from at-home or DIY whitening. Also, teeth whitening does not involve removing any natural tooth structure, so it does not affect a tooth’s long-term health and stability.
For patients who wish to whiten in the comfort of their own homes, take-home trays are an excellent option. We are able to provide a strong bleaching gel and detailed instructions to help our patients see the best and quickest results with few side effects.
Why Choose Us
Ingber Dental is home to some of Washington, D.C.’s most trusted cosmetic dentists. Our office is equipped with the latest, safest and most effective whitening technology, and our staff is thoroughly trained to deliver excellent customer service. If, in addition to the color of your teeth, you’d like to address another cosmetic imperfection — for example, a small chip or crack — we would be happy to recommend complementary treatments.
Schedule a Cosmetic Dentistry Consultation
For more information about teeth whitening or the other services available with our dentists, please call (202) 331-7474 or send us an email.