Teeth Whitening & Bleaching

Teeth whitening and bleaching are cosmetic dental procedures that help patients that want to recover a brighter smile. These treatments can lighten the existing teeth color stained due to smoking, drinking coffee, or poor dental hygiene. 

At Pine Desert Dental we offer whitening and bleaching services for patients who’d like to lighten their teeth and get rid of discoloration. 

What is the difference between teeth whitening and bleaching?

Teeth whitening and bleaching usually refer to the same cosmetic procedure that removes stains from the surface of the teeth and improves their appearance.  However, the ADA describes that teeth whitening aims to restore the natural teeth color. At the same time, bleaching refers to dental whitening beyond a natural tone. 

How do teeth whitening and bleaching work?

Dental whitening treatments use hydrogen peroxide, a common chemical in hair-bleaching formulas. At-home whitening kits, whitening toothpaste, gels, and rinses usually contain from 3% to 20% peroxide. In-office treatments, like Dr. Sunistch’s, can include 15% to 43%. 

A substance with a higher level of peroxide needs shorter exposure to teeth since keeping it on longer could increase gum and teeth sensitivity. To avoid risks, we recommend using a dentist-supervised whitening procedure.

Do at-home kits for teeth whitening work?

Dr. Sunitsch offers at-home and in-office dental whitening treatments for patients.

In-office bleaching is generally a faster and more effective option. 

At-home whitening kits that are not dentist-supervised can take much longer to show results. They will usually only whiten a couple of color shades since their peroxide level is lower. Some choices for at-home dental bleaching include:

  • Tooth whitening strips
  • Gel bleaching 
  • Whitening toothpaste

Visiting your dentist for a personalized treatment will offer better and long-lasting results. 

During your consultation, Dr. Sunitsch will recommend an individualized plan with the best dental whitening treatment for your case.

What causes teeth staining?

Teeth staining can be caused by several factors related to age, personal hygiene, and eating habits. This includes:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee or tea
  • Having a disease that prevents normal tooth enamel from developing
  • Drinking water or eating food that contains too much fluoride
  • Using certain medications
  • Aging discoloration
  • Not flossing and brushing your teeth with regularity
  • Having a genetic predisposition to teeth discoloration
  • Eating strongly-colored foods regularly

Who is an ideal candidate for teeth whitening and bleaching?

You might be an ideal candidate for teeth whitening and bleaching if have any of the following conditions:

  • Stains on the surface of your teeth
  • Smoking or caffeinated drinking habit 

Who should not get teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening may not be an ideal treatment option for you if you:

  • Have dental decay, like caries, gum disease, or infection 
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Have a peroxide allergy
  • Have teeth injuries, such as cracks or sensitivity

Once issues like dental decay or teeth injuries are treated, your dentist will reevaluate your case. 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. Sunistch will review your case to determine if veneers or dental bonding are a better option for you. 

Are there risks associated with teeth whitening?

Patients who have recently undergone teeth bleaching are recommended to use dental sensitivity toothpaste. For many, gum and teeth sensitivity is temporary and fades within two or three days after the procedure. 

If you continuously have gum irritation or sensitivity after whitening your teeth, we suggest visiting your dentist. 

What should I expect when getting teeth whitening or bleaching?

During your teeth whitening consultation, Dr. Sunitsch might ask about your recent medical history and examine your mouth. Learning about your lifestyle and dietary habits helps determine if you are a proper candidate for the procedure. If so, you will be scheduled for your dental bleaching appointment. 

During your appointment, the whitening solution will be placed onto the desired areas, either upper, lower teeth, or both, and then cured using a special UV light. The procedure can be done in a single 2-hour session or over multiple sessions, depending on your specific case. 

How can I prevent teeth staining?

Some of Dr. Sunitsch's recommendations to prevent teeth staining:

  • Avoid tobacco.
  • Use a straw for caffeinated or staining beverages.
  • Brush your teeth right after eating strongly-colored food.
  • Floss and brush your teeth daily. 
  • Use whitening toothpaste occasionally.

Is the teeth whitening procedure permanent?

Teeth whitening is not a permanent procedure and can usually last up to 6 months, depending on the care given. If you avoid teeth-staining habits and follow the recommendations above, your bleaching benefits might not need a touch-up even after a year. 

Teeth Whitening and Bleaching Consultation in Sisters, Oregon

Pine Desert Dental offers teeth whitening and bleaching services to help patients maintain optimal oral health and aesthetic. Dr. Zach Sunitsch and the Pine Desert Dental team can handle all your dental needs. 

He is an active member of the American Dental Association, the Oregon Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. At Pine Desert Dental, we offer comprehensive dental services, including cosmetic dental care

If you’d like a consultation for teeth whitening and bleaching, call us at (541) 549-0109 or request an appointment online. You can also visit us at our clinic in Sisters, Oregon.

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