August 24, 2018
If you want to whiten teeth, there’s more than one than one way to do so at Appalachian Dental Care. If you’re not sure which method is right for your smile, Dr. Steven Airey will help you decide, taking into account factors like your budget, your schedule, and the condition of your teeth.
The method that immediately comes to mind for most people is the kind of teeth whitening products you find at drugstores. We offer a similar teeth whitening treatment in our Boone, NC dentist office.
You’ll get brighter results with ours, though, for two reasons:
- Our professional-strength gel contains a higher percentage of active whitening ingredients than store products.
- We take impressions of your teeth to make custom whitening trays that fit perfectly and make it easy to completely cover your smile.
Your other two teeth whitening options are:
- dental veneers
- tooth bonding
Both offer longer-lasting results than a teeth whitening treatment. They also work better on some types of discoloration. We’ve provided information here on all three methods to whiten teeth. We recommend a consultation with Dr. Airey to find the best one for your specific situation. Call 828-355-5673 to schedule a consultation.
Some Stains Don’t Respond Well to Whitening
If your teeth look dark or dull because of extrinsic stains, they often respond quite well to teeth whitening treatments. These are the stains caused by smoking or by consuming substances like coffee or cola. In contrast, stains that affect the interior of teeth (intrinsic stains) can’t really be removed with whitening treatments. To whiten teeth with intrinsic stains, it’s better to cover them with bonding or veneers. Common causes of intrinsic stains include certain medications, overexposure to fluoride, a blow to your tooth, or aging.
Considering Costs to Whiten Teeth
A teeth whitening treatment is the least expensive method at face value. It’s important to consider more than just the initial cost, though. You’ll need repeated teeth whitening treatments to keep your smile looking bright. Dental bonding and dental veneers both offer longer-lasting results.
If you care for dental veneers properly, they will last at least a decade – and often much longer. We use veneers made of either porcelain or zirconia, both stain-resistant materials. So they should stay white for years.
Bonding should last a few years. The tooth-colored composite Dr. Airey applies to your smile during a bonding treatment can stain. You should avoid staining liquids as much as possible after bonding; rinse your mouth out with water after consuming them if possible. You may also want to increase the number of professional dental cleanings you receive.
Both veneers and bonding can correct other cosmetic flaws while covering discoloration. You can use them to hide:
- Small cracks
- Small gaps and/or minor misalignment
- Worn-down teeth
Veneers generally conceal a wider range of flaws than bonding. Since veneers cover the entire front surfaces of your teeth, they also help strengthen your smile.
What Happens to Teeth During Whitening?
Teeth whitening treatments aren’t invasive. You simply apply gel to your enamel and wait for it to work. Bonding is also non-invasive. Dr. Airey uses an abrasive solution to roughen the surfaces of your teeth before applying the composite material. He “cures” it with a special light, then polishes your teeth. A bonding treatment can be completed in one appointment, and it’s completely reversible.
With dental veneers, he typically needs to remove a small amount of tooth enamel. However, depending on your smile, you may be a candidate for prepless veneers. These veneers are so thin Dr. Airey may not need to remove any enamel. They won’t work for every situation, though. Dr. Airey will determine which type of veneer will give you the best results.