Palo Alto, CA
Cosmetic dentistry has become extremely popular in recent years, largely thanks to improved technology and techniques. At Palo Alto Oral Health, one of our most popular cosmetic treatments is teeth whitening. Professional whitening treatment is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to improve the esthetics of an otherwise beautiful smile!
In-office Whitening Treatment
Before we move forward with the whitening process, our doctors must first determine that you are a suitable candidate. Most people with extrinsic stains, or stains on the outer layer of the tooth (the enamel), should qualify for in-office whitening. Those with intrinsic stains, or discolorations within the tooth (usually the dentin layer), will need another type of cosmetic treatment.
Once we decide that teeth whitening is right for you, the next step is to determine which type of treatment is best. Most of the time, we recommend our in-office procedure, which is highly effective. In fact, one in-office whitening appointment can result in teeth that are up to eight shades brighter than their current color.
During your procedure, we will apply a high-concentration bleaching gel directly to the surfaces of your teeth. After about 15 minutes or so, we will clean the teeth and reapply a new coat of gel. This process may be repeated several times until we achieve the desired results. In some instances, we may also use a high-powered ultraviolet light, which improves the effectiveness of the bleach and expedites the process.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
If, for whatever reason, you are not satisfied with the results of your treatment, we may also recommend at-home teeth whitening. More specifically, we can help fabricate a custom-fit whitening using an impression of your teeth. Along with your custom-fit whitening tray, we also provide you with a professional grade bleach you cannot find in stores.
While many companies offer store-bought whitening products, from toothpastes to whitening strips, they are simply less effective. Most of these alternatives leave people with lackluster results, partial due to a lower-concentration whitening solution.
We also suggest avoiding store-bought whitening trays and bleaching gels. Unlike custom-designed whitening trays, boil-and-bite or stock trays can be unsafe and provide uneven results. The success of your treatment largely depends on how well your tray fits your teeth.
Dental Veneers as an Alternative
As we previously mentioned, conventional whitening methods are ineffective on intrinsic stains found within the tooth. If you have intrinsic stains, or severe discolorations, our doctors may recommend dental veneers as an alternative.
A dental veneer is a razor-thin shell designed to fit around the front of an anterior tooth, or a tooth in your visible smile. We generally use veneers to fix the esthetics of chipped, cracked, misshaped, gapped, discolored, or otherwise visually-displeasing teeth. Most veneers are fabricated using porcelain, a beautiful tooth-like material that is virtually-indistinguishable from natural enamel.
During a minor procedure, we typically need to remove a small amount of healthy enamel to accommodate the thickness of the veneer shell. For this reason, veneers are generally considered an irreversible procedure. Luckily, porcelain veneers can have good longevity with the proper care and maintenance.
Schedule Your Appointment Now!
If you would like to learn more about our cosmetic services, including teeth whitening or veneers, our team is here to help! Call (650) 250-4350 to schedule your initial appointment today.