Teeth Whitening

Patients in the St. Paul, MN area turn to our office to brighten up their teeth and give them the confidence to smile. Austin Family Dental has expertise in cosmetic dentistry, so you know your smile is in good hands.

The best way to whiten is with a teeth bleaching procedure. After your regular cleaning, the dentist can complete this procedure just in time for a special event or as part of your regular oral health routine.

As you age, it’s common for your teeth to become dull and yellow. This is part of the aging process, but it’s also influenced by what you eat and drink. Coffee, tea and wine can all stain your teeth. Eating foods that contain food coloring can also add to staining. Another factor that can stain your teeth is smoking. Brushing regularly can help prevent staining, but sometimes brushing and regular dental cleanings alone are not enough.

In-office whitening can brighten your smile up to 8 shades lighter. That’s 6 shades lighter than store bought whitening products.

Over-the-counter Teeth Whitening

There are several types of teeth bleaching that you can try. Many people start by using whitening toothpaste at home. This can help to brighten your teeth, but is typically not enough to actually whiten them. We recommend using a whitening toothpaste in addition to in-office whitening treatments. After the dentist gives you a professional whitening treatment, the toothpaste can help your teeth stay bright.

We have found that many people throughout the St. Paul area tries other over-the-counter solutions, like whitening trays or strips. These treatments work, but not as well as professional solutions. As with most things, what you buy in the store is simply not as strong as what you can get from a medical professional. Additionally, store bought whitening trays are designed to fit everyone’s teeth, not your teeth specifically. This means that they can become loose, and the solution can leak, leading to gum irritation.

Patients can schedule an appointment with our dentist at Austin Family Dental instead of whitening at home. Our professional tooth whitening solutions can transform the appearance of your teeth in a dynamic way. If you are looking for immediate and dramatic results, in-office whitening is the best option.

Professional Teeth Whitening

At Austin Family Dental, we provide patients with two types of teeth whitening.

A whitening treatment in our St. Paul, MN office can be done at the same time as a teeth cleaning or during a separate appointment. It is typically completed within an hour and immediately produces white teeth. For many people, this is an ideal solution because of the rapid results.

We also recommend whitening trays. This type of procedure is effective and puts you in control over how white your teeth become and how often you whiten them. The dentist starts by taking an impression of your teeth. This impression is then used to create customized whitening trays in a dental lab. They fit securely around teeth and will not leak solution into your mouth. This is an ideal way for patients to whiten teeth because, once they are created, they can be used at any time.

We provide you with a whitening solution to use at home. You need to wear the trays for a couple of hours every night for a week or more. Once your teeth have reached the perfect shade of white, you may stop wearing the trays. This portable solution can be taken anywhere, making it possible for people to whiten teeth while on vacation, business trips or after moving to a new city.

All of our custom whitening kits include our Whitening for Life Program. The program helps you to maintain your teeth whitening with FREE touch-up bleach at each six-month preventative visit for life!

Check out what others are saying about our teeth whitening services on Yelp:Teeth Whitening St. Paul.

How It Works
When we apply the whitening solution to your teeth, the hydrogen peroxide inside the solution penetrates your enamel. Then the oxidation process starts, and molecules are transformed to reflect less or no light. This makes them appear colorless, so teeth appear whiter. This process is typically extremely effective for lifting stains and can be repeated frequently.

Occasionally, stains are too strong for a teeth bleaching procedure to work. When this happens, Austin Family Dental can provide an alternative treatment. Veneers are a great option for stained teeth that will not respond to whitening treatments. The dentist places a veneer over the stained teeth. The material is stain resistant, so it will not yellow quickly like natural teeth. However, it’s best to try a whitening procedure before turning to veneers to cover your stained teeth.

At Austin Family Dental, we also recommend that patients have their teeth whitened before having other dental procedures completed. Most of the materials that are used in dental restorations or for cosmetic purposes are stain-resistant and bleach-resistant. For example, a dental crown won’t stain or bleach, but should maintain its initial coloring with time. When a crown, veneer, bridge or implant are created in a dental lab, it is created to match the shade of the surrounding teeth. If the surrounding teeth are yellow, these restorations will be created in a yellow shade. If the surrounding teeth are a brilliant white, the restoration will be as well. This makes the timing of teeth whitening procedures important.

If you know that you need a dental restoration, have your teeth whitening procedure scheduled first. The procedure itself shouldn’t cause any discomfort and is relatively easy to complete. Before getting started, we simply recommend that you schedule a dental exam with our St. Paul dental office. Dr. Austin will then examine your teeth and gums to ensure that they are healthy enough for whitening. This way, if you have any cavities or infections, they can be treated first.

To learn more or to get started, call 651-641-1908 and schedule your appointment.

Teeth Whitening FAQ

Q: Does teeth whitening cause permanent tooth sensitivity?
A:
Sensitivity from tooth whitening is always transient. That means if there is any sensitivity caused by the whitening, it goes away within one to two days after the treatment, and the patient returns to the state of sensitivity he or she had prior to starting the whitening process.  There is more residual sensitivity with store bought teeth bleaching kits due to the one-size fits all trays that come in the kit versus the custom fit trays from the dentist.

Q: Can I get my teeth whitened?
A:
Most people are candidates for tooth whitening, but again, each situation is unique, so it’s best to contact your dental professional.

Q: How long does tooth whitening last?
A:
Typically, you can expect whitening to last from six months to two years, although some studies report results lasting up to 10 years. Avoiding red wine,coffee, and smoking all of which can cause staining helps preserve the results.

Q: Is tooth bleaching safe?
A:
Yes, many studies have proven that tooth whitening is safe. You can protect your tooth enamel by using calcium sulfate and fluoride.

Q: How much does tooth whitening cost?
A:
Prices vary widely for tooth whitening. Over-the-counter kits can cost as little as $20, with extensive in-office procedures approaching up to $299. If you want professional whitening, expect the price to be around $100 to $300. If you want an at-home bleaching kit from your dentist, expect to pay between $100 and $200.

Q: Does tooth whitening affect fillings, veneers or crowns?
A:
Tooth whitening has little or no effect on restorative materials such as porcelain or crowns, but it may temporarily reduce the bond strength between enamel and composite restorations. This is why it’s a good idea to check with your dental professional before beginning any course of tooth whitening.

Q: Is the agent used in tooth whitening toxic?
A:
Products developed from carbamide peroxide, hydrogen peroxide and urea (substances found in every human cell), should be used cautiously to alleviate concerns. Those who have issues are the ones who don’t follow instructions and overuse the products for months or years.

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