Professional Teeth Whitening in Spokane
Over time the foods we eat and the drinks we consume cause stains to soak up into our porous tooth enamel. This makes teeth appear dark and dingy, and can make a person feel self-conscious about smiling or talking around other people.
Taking years of stain off of your smile has never been easier, thanks to Dr. Ryan R. Love. Teeth whitening treatment with professional-grade whitening gel helps lift deeper stains in a shorter period of time than weaker over-the-counter products. Combined with a custom-fitted whitening tray, professional whitening gel reaches the entire surface of each tooth, giving the most thorough whitening treatment possible. The concentrated peroxide-based gel quickly breaks up stain particles and lifts them from the teeth, dramatically changing the appearance of the enamel.
Professional Whitening vs. At-Home Whitening
There is no shortage of over-the-counter toothpastes, gels and strips that promise to noticeably whiten dull or discolored teeth. However, patients who want great results are better off leaving whitening to professionals like Dr. Love.
Dr. Love is able to use bleaching agents that have a higher concentration of the bleaching agent than what is found in OTC products. This means faster and more dramatic results.
Professional whitening is also crucial to achieving results that look even and natural. OTC strips are not fitted to the unique contours of a patient’s mouth; as a result, they can slip and slide around in the mouth, and they may not make even contact with the entire tooth. This can lead to unevenly whitened teeth or possibly patchy-looking results.
For patients with sensitive teeth, professional whitening is the way to go. Having a dentist perform treatment reduces the chances of sensitivity, discomfort and pain. Prior to professional treatment, Dr. Love ensures that the patient’s mouth does not have any untreated decay, which can cause pain during whitening. He covers the patient’s gums to ensure the bleaching agent does not make contact with them, and he can apply a desensitizing agent to the teeth to prevent sensitivity. Dr. Love carefully applies the bleaching gel to the teeth and supervises the treatment.
After treatment, Dr. Love can provide customized take-home trays that are individually fitted to the patient’s mouth. These trays can be used periodically to “touch up” the results of in-office whitening.
Lastly, Dr. Love is an excellent resource for information about maintaining the results of whitening treatment. He can provide tips about foods and beverages to avoid, and he can recommend how often to use the take-home trays to maximize the results of in-office treatment.
Candidates for Teeth Whitening Treatment
Teeth whitening treatment is designed for individuals with deep-set tooth stains or discoloration, due to any of the following:
- regular consumption of colas, teas, coffee and red wine
- regular consumption of foods such as dark berries, tomato sauce or sweets
- tobacco use
- excessive use of fluoride
- certain medications – e.g., tetracycline
- trauma to the teeth – e.g., effects of a car accident, a blow to the face
- the natural aging process
Ideally, teeth whitening candidates should have healthy teeth and gums and be free of gum disease, cavities, worn tooth enamel and exposed tooth roots. Teeth whitening does not work on fillings and other restorations (including dental crowns, bridges, veneers and bonding), so individuals with dental work may find whitening causes uneven-looking results.
Teeth whitening is not suitable for those under the age of 16, expectant or nursing mothers, or individuals that are allergic to the peroxide whitening agent.
Prior to starting chair-side teeth whitening treatment, Dr. Love checks the patient’s teeth to ensure there are no areas of decay. If he finds a problem, it must be treated before proceeding with whitening treatment.
The teeth and gums are covered with a protective gel or a rubber shield. Then, Dr. Love applies the bleaching gel to the teeth. It sits on the teeth for about 15 minutes and may be activated with a special light. Then, the gel is wiped off and the process is repeated two to three times. The entire treatment takes about 45 minutes, and the teeth may lighten up to eight shades (depending on the system and technology used).
An alternative to chair-side whitening is to use a take-home custom whitening tray system. Take-home whitening kits use custom trays that are worn once or twice a day for two weeks during the initial whitening treatment.
Some chair-side patients receive take-home trays to complement their results.
Chair-side and at-home teeth whitening treatments are very safe and do not usually cause many side effects. Some people experience slight tooth sensitivity if the bleaching agent penetrates the enamel to the soft layer of dentin and irritates the nerves in the teeth. Tooth sensitivity is typically temporary and should subside quickly.
One way to avoid possible sensitivity is to have chair-side whitening, so Dr. Love can supervise treatment and control the potency of the bleaching agent. At-home whitening patients should follow Dr. Love’s instructions carefully to minimize the chances of sensitivity.
Maintaining the Results of Teeth Whitening Treatment
There are several ways to maintain the results of teeth whitening treatment. The first is to avoid staining foods and beverages, including coffee, tea, red wine, cola and blueberries. Keeping the teeth and gums clean by brushing and flossing helps prevent stains, decay and other damage. Also, it helps to periodically “touch up” the teeth by wearing the take-home whitening trays for a few days in a row.
Overusing whitening products can damage the tooth enamel and gums, so Dr. Love can recommend how often to whiten the teeth.
Teeth Whitening FAQs
Will my teeth whitening results last forever?
Teeth whitening results should last a long time, but there is a certain amount of “regression” after the whitening process as the teeth return to their natural color. To avoid this, patients should follow the maintenance instructions from Dr. Love.
Will whitening bleach veneers, crowns and dental bonding?
No, teeth whitening treatment only works on natural tooth enamel. Dental restorations should be matched to the newly whitened teeth.
Can I bleach my teeth if I’m pregnant or nursing?
There isn’t a lot of scientific research on the safety of teeth whitening during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Dr. Love recommends women wait to whiten (and use over-the-counter whitening products) until after they have delivered and weaned their baby.
What are the bleaching agents used in teeth whitening treatment?
Whitening gels contain either carbamide or hydrogen peroxide.
Does teeth whitening treatment hurt?
No, teeth whitening is not a painful treatment. However, patients with gum recession or untreated tooth decay may possibly experience pain. This is why Dr. Love checks every candidate’s teeth and gums to ensure they are healthy before proceeding with treatment. Patients that are worried about tooth sensitivity can opt for chair-side whitening, so Dr. Love can monitor treatment and reduce the risk of sensitivity.
Is teeth whitening bad for the health of my teeth?
There is no long-term evidence that whitening damages teeth. Patients with concerns about the safety of teeth whitening treatment are encouraged to discuss these concerns with Dr. Love.
Will teeth whitening damage dental restorations?
The bleaching agents used in professional teeth whitening will not damage dental restorations, but they will not lighten them, either.
How much whiter can I expect my teeth to be after treatment?
Everyone’s teeth are unique and respond differently to teeth whitening treatment. It is very difficult to predict with certainty how much whiter a patient’s teeth will be. But in general, professional whitening can make a patient’s teeth five to eight shades lighter.
Will teeth whitening cause white spots to appear on my teeth?
Whitening can cause temporary white spots to appear, but they usually disappear within a few days.
Is teeth whitening safe for children?
Teeth whitening is generally not recommended for patients under the age of 14.
If I am whitening my teeth before a special event (e.g., wedding, class reunion), when should I schedule treatment?
Patients should aim to whiten teeth for about three weeks before the special event. They can use the at-home trays to “touch up” their teeth the week of the event.
Contact Dr. Ryan Love
For more information about teeth whitening treatment, please call (509) 928-2525 or email our practice today.
Dr. Love believes that the right dental technology can make treatment quicker, safer and more comfortable for his patients. He invests in high-tech systems and tools that help him to be more efficient and treatment outcomes more accurate.
The revolutionary CEREC system enables him to plan, create and place top-quality crowns and bridges in a single visit. Tools such as cone beam CT scans help Dr. Love to capture three-dimensional images of the teeth, soft tissues and bone of the jaw for more precise treatment planning. Systems like the Sirona guided implant system help Dr. Love carefully map out treatment for more predictable dental implant results. Thanks to these key pieces of technology, Dr. Love’s patients save considerable time, money and effort on dental treatment.
Best dentist ever. I can't say enough nice things about him. Everyone in the office is amazing.
Always friendly and they do amazing work!!!
Such a great place! They always take good care of us whenever we need them! Thanks for all the love Dr. Love!
Ryan has been my dentist for a number of years now… Love his professional manner, technical skills and ability, and great professional and friendly staff. If you're looking for a top flight dentist I would strongly recommend Ryan and his team!!