Teeth Whitening & Bleaching

Both teeth bleaching and teeth whitening help patients to recover a brighter smile. These treatments can assist with lightening your teeth and removing dental stains due to smoking, drinking coffee, or poor dental hygiene.

At Black Point Dental, we are experts in cosmetic dentistry, such as teeth whitening, veneers, and Invisalign. We ensure that our patients receive the most comfortable and effective treatments possible using the latest technology and techniques. We want you to love your smile!

At Black Point Dental, we believe in patient education and strive to create a warm and welcoming environment for all our patients.

Teeth Whitening vs. Bleaching

Teeth whitening and bleaching are both cosmetic dental procedures that can help to remove stains and discoloration from teeth.

The main difference between the two is that whitening refers to the process of restoring the natural color of the teeth, while bleaching refers to whitening beyond the natural color. Whitening can be achieved through the use of toothpaste or over-the-counter whitening products, while bleaching is typically done in-office using stronger agents, such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.

It's important to note that both procedures should only be done under the guidance of a dental professional.

How Teeth Whitening and Bleaching Work

Teeth whitening and bleaching both use a bleaching agent, such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, to remove stains on the teeth.

Whitening generally employs a lower concentration of the bleaching agent, ranging from 3% to 20%, and is intended to restore the teeth's natural color. Bleaching, on the other hand, employs a higher concentration of the bleaching agent, ranging from 15% to 43%, and can go beyond the natural color of the teeth to produce a brighter, whiter smile.

A higher level of peroxide requires shorter exposure to teeth since prolonged exposure can increase gum and teeth sensitivity.

Both whitening and bleaching should only be done under the guidance of a dental professional to ensure safe and effective treatment.

Dental whitening treatments usually use hydrogen peroxide, which is also found in hair-bleaching formulas. At-home kits, toothpaste, gels, and rinses usually contain lower concentrations of peroxide, while in-office treatments may contain higher concentrations.

Are at-home kits for teeth whitening effective?

At-home whitening kits are not supervised by a dentist and can take longer to show results. They usually only whiten teeth by a couple of shades due to their lower peroxide levels.

Some options for at-home dental bleaching include:

  • Tooth whitening strips
  • Gel bleaching
  • Whitening toothpaste.

However, visiting Black Point Dental for a personalized treatment will offer better, longer-lasting results. During your consultation, Dr. Ferguson will recommend an individualized plan offering the best dental whitening treatment for you.

Causes of Teeth Staining

Teeth staining is a common issue that affects many people. Here are some factors that can contribute to teeth discoloration:

  • Smoking
  • Consumption of caffeinated beverages like coffee or tea
  • Genetics
  • Regular consumption of strongly-colored foods
  • Diseases that prevent normal tooth enamel from developing
  • Drinking water or eating food that contains too much fluoride
  • Certain medications
  • Poor dental hygiene practices, such as irregular brushing and flossing
  • Aging

Various factors can cause teeth staining, but with personalized treatment plans for teeth whitening, you can achieve a brighter and longer-lasting smile.

Ideal Candidate for Teeth Whitening and Bleaching

An ideal candidate for teeth whitening and bleaching is someone who has healthy teeth and gums with no underlying dental issues. They may have teeth staining caused by smoking, genetics, or poor dental hygiene practices.

When Teeth Whitening is the Right Choice

Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic procedure that can help brighten your smile and boost your confidence. However, it's not always the right choice for everyone. Here are some factors to consider before you decide to go ahead with teeth whitening:

  • Dental Issues: Issues like dental decay, gum disease, or dental infection should be addressed before you consider teeth whitening. Whitening products can irritate the gums and worsen existing dental problems, making it important to consult a dental professional to evaluate your individual case.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it's best to avoid teeth whitening until after you've given birth or finished nursing. While there is no conclusive research on the effects of teeth whitening on unborn or nursing babies, it's better to err on the side of caution.
  • Allergies: If you have a peroxide allergy, teeth whitening may not be a good option for you. Peroxide is a common ingredient in many whitening products and can cause allergic reactions in some people.
  • Teeth Injuries: If you have cracks or sensitivity in your teeth, teeth whitening may not be the best choice for you. Whitening products can exacerbate these issues, causing discomfort and worsening the damage.

It's important to note that teeth whitening and bleaching will not change the color of artificial teeth (including crowns, dentures, bridges, and implants) or tooth-colored fillings

During your dental consultation, Dr. Ferguson will review your case and determine whether veneers or dental bonding may be better for you.

Risks of Teeth Whitening

Yes, there are some risks associated with teeth whitening, although they are generally mild and temporary. These can include:

  • Tooth Sensitivity
  • Gum Irritation
  • Uneven Whitening

It's important to follow the instructions provided by your dentist or the product manufacturer to minimize the risk of complications.

Use sensitive toothpaste after teeth bleaching. Sensitivity fades within 2-3 days. If it persists, see your dentist.

What to Expect When Getting Teeth Whitening or Bleaching

Dr. Ferguson will examine your mouth and ask about your medical history to determine if teeth whitening is a suitable treatment for you.

The process involves applying a whitening solution to the desired areas, which is cured using a special UV light. The procedure can be completed in a single 2-hour session or over several sessions, depending on your specific case.

How to Prevent Teeth Staining

There are several steps you can take to prevent teeth staining, these include:

  • Avoid or limit foods and drinks that can stain your teeth, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and dark-colored fruits and vegetables. 
  • Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque and surface stains. 
  • Consider using a whitening toothpaste or mouthwash to help prevent stains. 
  • Quit smoking and avoid tobacco products, as they can cause severe teeth staining.

Finally, see your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups to keep your teeth healthy and stain-free.

How Long Teeth Whitening Lasts

Teeth whitening is not a permanent procedure. The results can last anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on your lifestyle habits, such as smoking and consuming dark-colored foods and drinks.

If you continue these habits, the results may fade more quickly. However, you can maintain the results by practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly for touch-up treatments.

Additionally, at-home whitening kits can help you maintain your results between professional treatments.

Teeth Whitening & Bleaching Treatment in Honolulu, HI

At Black Point Dental, we treat a range of cosmetic dentistry procedures, including teeth whitening and bleaching. Our goal is to give you a smile you enjoy. Dr. Patrick Ferguson and the Black Point Dental team are here to address your dental needs.

Dr. Patrick Ferguson is a member of the Hawaii Dental Association, the American Dental Association, and the American Board of Oral Implantology. 

To schedule an appointment, call us at (808) 955-5922 or request an appointment online. You can also visit our office in Honolulu, HI.

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