Teeth Whitening in Downtown Portland

how does teeth whitening work?

Teeth whitening is a non-invasive cosmetic treatment that can improve the appearance of discoloration and tooth stains through chemical bleaching. Whitening agents contain ingredients that increase the porosity of the teeth. 

This enables the peroxide to penetrate deeper into the enamel, down to the dentinal layer. Peroxide contains oxygen molecules that react with and break down staining molecules in the tooth. 

This results in a whiter appearance because intrinsic, as well as extrinsic tooth stains, have been removed. Contact us at Five Pines Dental today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Richard Zeller.

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Did you know…

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Drugstore whitening trays don’t contain high enough peroxide concentrations to remove intrinsic stains.

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How it works: The teeth Whitening process

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At your consultation, we will examine your teeth to look for signs of oral health problems. If you have any decay or gum disease, this will need to be treated first. Depending on the severity of your tooth discoloration, we may recommend in-office or take-home whitening.

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impressions (for take-home only)

For our patients who choose to whiten their teeth at home, we will need them to come into the office so we can take a 3D scan of their teeth and fabricate custom whitening trays for them to wear.

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tooth preparation (for in-office only)

For in-office whitening, we will protect your gums by applying a protective gel and we will hold your mouth open with the use of a cheek retractor.

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In the office, we will apply the whitening agent directly to each tooth. This will then be rinsed out to reveal your new smile. 

At home, you will apply the whitening gel to your trays and place them over your teeth.

teeth whitening options

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in-office whitening

If you have a special occasion coming up or are looking for an instant whitening boost for professional photos, there is no substitute for an in-office treatment. Performed in the dental chair, we use the highest concentration of peroxide in-office to safely and efficiently produce dramatically whiter results. 

After protecting the soft tissue in your mouth, we apply the whitener to each of your teeth. This process takes 90 minutes and can lighten the shade of your teeth by up to 10 shades in one session. For severe tooth discoloration, you may require multiple whitening appointments.

take home whitening

If you would rather improve the appearance of your smile from home, we can create custom whitening trays for you to wear each day over 1-2 weeks. This enables you to multitask by whitening your teeth and getting other work done. 

We will take a 3D scan of your teeth and create a whitening tray in our in-house lab that molds to the measurements of your mouth. This prevents peroxide from seeping over into your gums like with one-size-fits-all drugstore trays.

It may take a week or so for your trays to be ready to be picked up. Once they are ready, you will come into the office to receive your trays, written instructions, and whitening gel to apply to your trays.

Have Questions About Teeth Whitening? Find Answers Here.

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How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

Most people will see maximum results for about 1-2 years after having their teeth whitened. If you want to keep your teeth white for the longest period of time, it’s important to take good care of your smile. Make sure you brush at least twice per day using fluoride toothpaste. Incorporating whitening toothpaste into your routine can also help prevent and reverse the buildup of minor stains, which will prolong your results.

You may also want to consider changing your diet and lifestyle. Smoking is a big cause of tooth stains and can stain your teeth within months of whitening your teeth. Cutting back on staining drinks like coffee, tea, wine, cola, and other beverages will also help keep your smile healthy and bright. If you can’t quit, drinking these beverages with a straw can also help minimize contact with your teeth, reducing the likelihood of stains.

Finally, make sure to come to Five Pines Dental every six months for a consultation with Dr. Zeller. Teeth cleanings help remove plaque and tartar buildup from your smile, reducing surface stains. Oral exams are also essential for identifying tooth decay and cavities early, so make sure to come to our office twice each year for preventive care.

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Can You Whiten Veneers Or Crowns?

No. Veneers and crowns are made from ceramic materials. These porcelain materials may look like enamel, but they are quite different. Crowns and veneers are inorganic and do not react to the chemicals that are used to remove stains from your teeth.

The flip side of this is that the non-porous structure of porcelain also cannot be stained by beverages, smoking, or anything else. Your dental crowns and veneers will always remain the same color, which is why many patients choose to have their teeth whitened before getting a crown or veneer. This ensures an even smile.

If you do have existing veneers and crowns and you’re interested in teeth whitening, though, Dr. Zeller can help. He can check on the color of your dental work and develop a custom teeth whitening plan for your unique situation. By whitening the nearby teeth to a similar shade as your veneers or crowns, Dr. Zeller can provide you with a bright, natural, and even smile.

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How Do I Prevent Tooth Sensitivity After Teeth Whitening?

Some sensitivity is normal during your at-home whitening treatment or after your in-office teeth whitening treatment at Five Pines Dental. However, we know that tooth sensitivity can be uncomfortable and inconvenient, so there are some steps you can take to prevent it and avoid discomfort.

First, make sure you’re brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps remineralize your teeth after whitening and reduces sensitivity.  Anti-sensitivity toothpaste like Sensodyne can also help since it contains compounds that help reduce sensitivity after whitening.

Taking over-the-counter medicine like naproxen or ibuprofen can also help with post-whitening sensitivity. We also recommend avoiding really hot and cold foods and drinks for a few days. Tooth sensitivity is often triggered by extreme temperatures, so avoiding big temperature changes will help you stay comfortable.

Did you know…

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Tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening is normal and will dissipate as your enamel remineralizes within 48 hours.

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Call (503) 482-2160 today!