Teeth Whitening – In Richmond, VA

We offer multiple whitening solutions to achieve a brighter smile in our office. Our services for a whiter smile range from in office treatments yielding instant results to various take home solutions that allow you to whiten your teeth at your own pace.

Why do teeth discolor?

There are two ways in which teeth can discolor: from the outside of the tooth or from the inside of the tooth. Staining that begins on the outside of the tooth is known as extrinsic staining. Staining that begins from the inside of the tooth is known as intrinsic staining.

Extrinsic stains are typically caused by foods, drinks, tobacco, or lack of appropriate dental hygiene. Foods containing tomatoes can be prone to staining teeth as their red pigment can be absorbed on the surface of the tooth. Drinks containing tannins such as red wine and coffee can also stain teeth. Fortunately, extrinsic stains rarely penetrate very deep within the tooth and are therefore fairly straightforward to resolve.

The most common causes of intrinsic stains are the result of dental cavities, dental trauma, old dental restorations, or having been exposed to certain antibiotics during child development. Due to the fact that intrinsic stains are on the inner surface of the tooth, they typically require removal of tooth structure to remove or mask the stain and achieve a natural, white tooth.

How do you resolve extrinsic stains?

  • Dental Cleanings: Routine dental hygiene appointments are essential to proper maintenance of teeth. In the process of cleaning the teeth, the dental hygienist will remove surface stains that have built up in conjunction with dental plaque and calculus
  • Take Home Whitening: We will fabricate custom trays which act as a carrier for whitening gels that keep the whitening solution against the surfaces of the teeth. Results can be expected with application of material for 15-30 minutes per day for 2-3 weeks.
  • In Office Whitening: This process involves the placement of light-activated bleaching solution that is utilized over four 15 minute increments. Within an hour, you can expect the same level of whitening that would be achieved over 2-3 weeks using our take home whitening.

How do you resolve intrinsic stains?

Intrinsic stains are resolved by first identifying the source of the discoloration. If it is the result of a dental cavity or previous dental restoration such as a crown or a filling, we can remove the discolored material and replace it with a new material that is the correct color desired. If the intrinsic stain is the result of trauma to an isolated number of teeth, we are able to place a bleaching material on the inside of the discolored teeth in order to achieve a color that matches the other teeth in the mouth. In the event that the intrinsic stain was caused by antibiotics during development or other developmental abnormalities, crowns and/or veneers may be required to mask the underlying discoloration of teeth.

Contact us today if you would like us to help you achieve a brighter smile!