Dr. Cruz and his team understand why procedures to whiten stained teeth are regularly listed among the most sought-after dental services. A brighter, whiter smile is associated with a youthful and vital persona, and an attractive overall appearance.
Yet it’s important for patients to know that not all products and treatments marketed as whiteners really do as promised. Professional services offered by the dental team are safe, effective, and customized to the patient, which represent characteristics that are often not present in store-bought products.
Q: What teeth whitening services do you offer?
Since every patient’s needs and wants are different, Dr. Cruz offers at-home and in-office bleaching methods. The former option involves taking impressions of the teeth. Trays or dental appliances are made based on these impressions. A whitening agent is placed within these dental trays. The dentist recommends the trays be worn overnight. Since they are customized to fit your mouth, the whitening is even and the appliance is comfortable. After several nights, a dramatic change in the color of the teeth is visible.
While take-home trays are considered a conventional yet effective approach, Dr. Cruz also offers laser/light bleaching in-house. This "one-step" procedure results in dramatically whiter teeth in as little as 2 to 3 hours.
Q: What type of whitener do you prefer to use? Why?
The whiteners Dr. Cruz uses contain carbamide peroxide with a concentration of 10% or less, as approved by the FDA. While commercial products often don’t contain a high enough percentage of the active whitener to brighten the teeth, a higher concentration of the professional whitening agent doesn’t necessarily increase the advantages of treatment. It does, however, increase risks associated with teeth sensitivity. Luckily, these agents are not associated with permanent damage.
Q: How much whiter can your natural teeth be after a whitening procedure?
The amount of whitening that can occur after these types of procedures depends on how discolored your teeth were prior to treatment. For instance, if excessive fluoride use or use of antibiotics such as tetracycline are responsible for grayish or bluish discoloration or spots, improvement will occur more gradually.
Q: What are the advantages of whitening? Any disadvantages?
Tooth whitening is considered the least expensive and most convenient way to improve the appearance of your smile. It is also considered a low-risk approach. When prescribed under the supervision of a licensed dentist, these treatments are not linked to loss of natural tooth structure or damage. In younger patients, a disadvantage may be increased tooth sensitivity. This complication subsides over time.
As with other dental procedures, Dr. Cruz will make sure you have an accurate and complete understanding of the pros and cons of each available option. A proper diagnosis is required as some types of staining and discoloration may be better suited for other approaches entirely, such as dental bonding and porcelain veneers.
To find out more about your options, schedule an appointment with Dr. Cruz. Call (949) 661-1006.