Whiter Brighter Teeth Can Be Fast and Effective

Whiter Brighter Teeth Can Be Fast and Effective

October 4, 2022

Whitening your teeth may be an option for you!

Teeth can become darker looking or discolored over time for various reasons. Stains from foods, beverages, smoking and even some oral rinses can be the culprit. These are called extrinsic stains. They occur on the surface of the tooth’s outer layer called enamel and can soak deeper into the tooth at varying levels. Extrinsic stains are the easiest discolorations to reverse with teeth whitening, also known as teeth “bleaching”, although some intrinsic (stains from the inside) can be whitened effectively1 as well.

Getting a professional cleaning to polish off the extrinsic surface stain is a great first step in lightening your teeth. To help with the stains that have soaked into the tooth enamel, professional teeth whitening can be very effective at brightening your smile for the most minimal cost.

We offer three options for professional teeth whitening at our Citrus Heights office:

1At-home use of professional custom whitening trays with professional strength 35% carbamide peroxide whitening gel

  • Advantages: Convenient to fit into your daily routine. Reusable trays are available for future touch-ups as desired. Fast results using the highest concentration of carbamide peroxide gel available for take-home use.*
  • Disadvantages: Doing this treatment alone can take up to 2 or more weeks to get to the lightest shade your specific teeth can attain. Mild to moderate sensitivity to gums and teeth may temporarily occur. Dental impressions must be taken at the dentist office in order to make the custom whitening trays.
  • Treatment time: 15 minutes, twice a day or 30 minutes once a day. Do not wear this high 35% concentration overnight. Decrease time worn or frequency of treatment if you experience excessive hypersensitivity on the gums or teeth.

2In-office whitening treatment

  • Advantages: Faster results experienced with powerful 40% hydrogen peroxide gel. Apparent results often after only a single 60-90 minute dental office treatment.* This is a great way to kick-start your way to the lightest shade your teeth can achieve.
  • Disadvantages: May experience short term oral hypersensitivity on gums or teeth2. Some shades of teeth respond better than others. Grey shades of teeth may not respond as well or as quickly as brown or yellow shades of teeth.
  • Treatment time: 60-90 minutes in the dental office

3A combination of in-office whitening treatment followed by at-home custom whitening tray use

  • Advantages: You get a quick jump start of whitening with the in-office treatment and then each day thereafter for the next week, using the at-home trays as prescribed above, has shown the best clinical results to gain the greatest whitening your teeth are capable of achieving naturally.
  • Disadvantages: Same as #2 above, of course, but only 1 week of at-home whitening is usually needed to get your teeth to the lightest shade.
  • Treatment time: 60-90 minute dental appointment and then 15 minutes, twice a day or 30 minutes once a day for approximately 7 days (or until you have reached your desired level of whitened teeth).

Are you a candidate for teeth whitening? 

As long as you don’t have any of the contraindications listed below, you are probably a good candidate for whitening your teeth.

Some contraindications for whitening teeth would be:

  • Existing crowns, veneers or very large composite fillings on front teeth – whitening gel is only effective on natural tooth structure
  • Untreated cavities – tooth decay must be treated before whitening teeth
  • Exposed dentin – never put whitening gel on eroded teeth or root surfaces
  • Sensitive teeth – teeth can become more sensitive after whitening
  • Tooth discoloration caused by medications or tooth injury3
  • Allergies to peroxide or other ingredients in the whitening gel
  • Pregnant or nursing women

Instant White – Instant Straight Teeth

in just 2 appointments!

Porcelain veneers or crowns are a great option to whiten almost anyone’s teeth. The best part about them is that they not only whiten the teeth instantly, but they also make the teeth appear straightened as well. This is an especially great choice for people who have mildly crowded teeth and/or those with very dark or discolored teeth caused from tetracycline treatment or fluorosis as a child or tooth trauma/injury.

Why don’t we use a light, laser or heat to activate the whitening gel in the office?

Existing literature on the efficacy, effects and side effects of using a light, laser or heat to activate the whitening gel reveals that the nerve inside the tooth (the pulp) may be adversely affected by the increased temperature inside the tooth.4 This can cause extreme and sometimes extended hypersensitivity of the tooth/teeth. Furthermore, regarding the effectiveness of light or laser activation vs. non-activated procedures, no significant differences in brightness have been found when comparing them 7 days after treatment.5 6

Please give our office a call to find out more about the teeth whitening options available to you.

* Results are not guaranteed. Variations in results may be due to existing teeth shade and stain. More than one in-office treatment or more at-home treatments may be recommended or required in some cases, especially for those patients with very dark shades of teeth.


  1. https://www.ada.org/resources/research/science-and-research-institute/oral-health-topics/whitening
  2. https://www.ada.org/resources/research/science-and-research-institute/oral-health-topics/whitening
  3. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/whitening
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16820199/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19255679/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10530271/

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