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Posts for tag: teeth whitening

By Arlington Dental
June 21, 2019
Category: Dental
Tags: teeth whitening  

Teeth WhiteningIt’s amazing how much you will find yourself smiling when you have a beautiful, healthy-looking smile; however, have you started to notice that your smile is looking rather dull and even a little yellow? This happens to many people as they age. Fortunately, our Arlington, TX, cosmetic dentist Dr. Joseph Reed can easily get your smile several shades whiter in about one hour.

How does professional teeth whitening work?

There are two different kinds of stains: intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic, or external stains are often yellow in appearance and are due to the foods and drinks we consume. As the enamel thins over time, this can also lead to yellowing. On the other hand, intrinsic stains can be caused by excessive fluoride or certain medications. These stains lie deep within the tooth and are harder to treat with professional teeth whitening.

Professional teeth whitening is most effective against yellow stains. When our Arlington, TX, cosmetic dentist applies the gel to the front of your teeth it enters the porous enamel layers of the tooth to target and break up stubborn stain molecules.

The whitening gel contains an active bleaching agent (often hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide), which is able to break up these molecules. The active ingredient is often found in a much higher concentration with professional whitening products than with over-the-counter whitening kits, which means that the gel doesn’t have to remain on teeth nearly as long in order to see results.

How much whiter will my smile get with professional teeth whitening?

Results will vary from person to person depending on certain factors including the type and severity of your stains. This is something that we would be happy to discuss with you when you come into our office for a consultation. We can examine your smile and discuss your treatment goals to make sure that professional teeth whitening is the best option.

In most cases, we can get smiles up to five shades brighter in just one session. Since in-office whitening offers the fastest whitening results possible, many people choose this approach if they are looking to get a whiter smile before a big occasion like a wedding.

Are you interested in getting teeth whitening in Arlington, TX? Want to sit down and talk to us about your whether chairside or at-home whitening is the best option for you? Call Arlington Dental today to schedule a consultation with our cosmetic dentist!


Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.

That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.

Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.

The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.

It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.

What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.

How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”


Home whitening kits are a popular way to turn a dull smile into a dazzling one. But these self-applied products only work for teeth with outer enamel stains — if the discoloration originates inside a tooth, you’ll need professional treatment.

Known as “intrinsic staining,” this type of discoloration most often occurs within a tooth’s pulp or dentin layers. There are a number of causes like tooth trauma or tetracycline use at an early age. A root canal treatment used to remove infection from deep within a tooth can also cause discoloration: sometimes blood pigments left after tissue removal or the filling materials themselves can stain a tooth’s interior.

Intrinsic staining can often be treated by placing a bleaching agent, usually sodium perborate, into the tooth’s pulp chamber. But before undertaking this procedure on a tooth that’s undergone a root canal treatment, we want to first ensure the filling is intact and still adequately sealing the tooth from infection. We also want to make sure the supporting bone is also healthy.

If all’s well, we access the pulp in the same way as the root canal treatment, and preferably through the same access hole. We then clean out the pulp chamber of any stained matter and then ensure the root canals remain filled and sealed off from the pulp chamber.

We can then place the bleaching agent into the pulp, a process that will need to be repeated every three or four days to achieve the desired level of brightness. After each session we place a cotton pellet over the opening and held in place with a temporary adhesive; we can easily remove and re-apply this covering during subsequent sessions. Once we’ve achieved the desired color change, we seal the tooth with a permanent filling and restore the access cavity with a tooth-colored composite resin material bonded to the enamel and dentin.

There are other options for an intrinsically stained tooth like veneers or crowns that outwardly cover the discoloration. Internal bleaching, however, is a more conservative approach that causes less alteration of the tooth. If successful, it can restore a stained tooth to a brighter, more attractive shade.

If you would like more information on internal bleaching, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Whitening Traumatized Teeth.”