Teeth Whitening Options

Beautiful young couple relaxing

When it comes to teeth whitening today, there are options for just about every smile. Whether teeth have mild, superficial stains or deeper stains inside the structure of the tooth, the right teeth whitening method can eliminate the stains and transform the smile. Our cosmetic dentists offer a variety of teeth whitening options to help our patients get the smiles they want.

The Causes of Discolored Teeth

Most discoloration develops in one of two ways. First, enamel can thin over time due to acid erosion, aggressive brushing or age. As the enamel becomes thinner, it allows more of the darker underlying dentin layer to show through, and this makes teeth look dark and dingy. Second, foods and drinks can also stain teeth. Microscopic cracks in the enamel allow color-depositing substances to pass through, and the stains can penetrate deep into the enamel where brushing cannot reach. Common staining substances include coffee, wine, tea and nicotine.

Teeth can also become discolored due to internal factors. Called intrinsic stains, these factors can include medicine, excess fluoride consumption and dental trauma.

Whitening Options

Whitening Toothpaste

A whitening toothpaste typically contains abrasive substances designed to scrub away superficial stains. Used consistently, whitening toothpaste can help keep teeth brighter, but it cannot penetrate the enamel to break up the stains inside.

Whitening Strips

Over-the-counter whitening strips are a popular choice. The thin plastic sheets are coated with peroxide at attached to teeth daily for up to two weeks. They are convenient and easy to use, but they can only lighten teeth one or two shades.

Tray-Based Whitening Systems

These systems are professionally supervised, which means that patients can enjoy more customized results. The tray is typically fit to the patient’s teeth, and it is used with a prescription-strength whitening gel. Patients will wear the trays daily for one to three weeks. The process takes longer, but patients can enjoy a gradual lightening of five or more shades.

Laser Teeth Whitening

This in-office procedure offers the fastest, most effective results and is professionally administered. Our dentist applies the whitening gel directly to teeth and uses a special laser to activate the gel. This type of whitening can penetrate far into the enamel and break up even long-standing stains. After a single one-hour treatment, teeth can be up to eight to 10 shades lighter.

Contact our teeth whitening dentist in San Francisco today to schedule a teeth whitening consultation.


Care After Root Canal

Woman at the dentistry

Our patients often tell us that the phrase root canal causes feelings of fear. While it is true that no one enjoys dental procedures, the root canal has a reputation for being a painful and painful treatment.

In the past, much of the fear surrounding a root canal had merit. At this time numbing the area around the root canal was difficult. If a root canal is necessary, it is because the tooth and surrounding space contain dead nerves and blood vessels. The lack of nerves and blood vessels leaves nothing to transport the medication beyond the immediate site. Fortunately, dental advancements make preparing the root canal site more straightforward and the pain relief more efficient.

The root canal procedure is not complicated. We begin with anesthetic injections and once your mouth is numb, our dentist drills into the afflicted tooth and removes decaying pulp and any infected tissues. After cleaning your tooth, the empty area inside of your tooth receives a spongy substance called gutta–percha. The dentist permanently seals your tooth and may opt to put a crown on the tooth for protection.

Once your root canal is complete, you can focus on your recovery. Our Northridge dentist recommends that root canal patients plan to have some downtime following the procedure. The bare minimum our office suggests is to schedule the whole day off from work and other responsibilities. If you are able to have more time to rest and recuperate, it would be to your advantage.

In addition to resting, we suggest that our root canal patients use ice packs to help minimize facial swelling and to help relieve any pain. You will likely want to have over-the-counter pain medication on hand, but you may receive a prescription for stronger pain relief medication. Often, this is not necessary because many patients report a great deal of pain relief because the decaying and infected tissues and abscesses are gone. We also suggest that you have a supply of soft foods to eat for a day or two after your root canal. Additionally, avoid anything sticky or chewy while recovering from your root canal procedure.

While complications are infrequent after a root canal, please contact our office right away if you have excessive bleeding, fever, or extreme pain.