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How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Patient smiling, half white, half stained for teeth whitening by Tigard dentist at Lisa Gitelson, DMD.Teeth whitening is done with the application of peroxide. There may be variations in the flavors of products or the concentration of peroxide used, but all whitening products are designed to have some effect. Working with our staff at Lisa Gitelson, DMD, we can review the level of staining on your teeth, determine if they are intrinsic or extrinsic stains, and help you decide the best course of action to have the level of brightness you are seeking. There are steps that we can take to help you have whiter, brighter, cleaner looking teeth.

Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic

Teeth whitening can remove extrinsic stains. Extrinsic stains are stains that naturally occur to the outer enamel layer of the tooth. These stains appear from regular use; they are from foods we eat, drinks we consume and other things such as smoking. Extrinsic stains are removable with peroxide products.

Teeth whitening will not remove intrinsic stains. Intrinsic stains are deeper in the tooth; it is the discoloration of the lower layer of dentin. Intrinsic stains can come from the use of certain medications, from a condition known as fluorosis which is the overuse of fluoride, or it can be genetic. Patients who are concerned with intrinsic staining may need to consider other options such as dental veneers or crowns.

Removal of Extrinsic Stains

All teeth whitening products will have some level of whitening ability; the question is often the speed of effectiveness. Store bought products generally have a very low level of hydrogen peroxide, generally 2%. This will produce results but can take considerable time. Some products use carbamide peroxide; this is also effective in whitening teeth, carbamide peroxide contains a ratio of 1:3, so a product that contains 30% carbamide peroxide is the same as a product with 10% hydrogen peroxide.

High levels of hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth are prescribed and done only in our office, that is because hydrogen peroxide can cause chemical burns to your soft tissue.

We offer both in-office whitening treatments and at home whitening kits. The benefit of having your teeth whitened in office includes having the treatment completed is less than one hour. The patient comes in for their scheduled appointment, we apply a powerful gel, and then whiten with the assistance of laser treatment. This process is fast and provides patients with the optimal whitening power in one visit. The benefit of a take-home kit has a tray customized to fit your mouth, the patient can then use a prescription strength gel, though not as strong as we use in the office, to whiten their teeth as they choose. This treatment is ideal for patients who want more control over how their teeth are whitened.

Following treatment, patients need to be aware that their teeth are more susceptible to stains for the first 48 hours, this is true with any whitening products. We recommend annual touch-ups to maintain a beautiful look. Ask our team about your whitening options.

Payment Plans Available (OAC)
CareCredit is a personal line of credit for healthcare treatments and procedures for your entire family. It works like a credit card but can only be used for healthcare services.

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Lisa Gitelson, DMD
14300 SW Pacific Hwy
Tigard, OR 97224
(503) 985-8945
M-W 7-5,

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Lisa Gitelson, DMD | | (503) 985-8945
14300 SW Pacific Hwy, Tigard, OR 97224



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Lisa Gitelson, DMD, 14300 SW Pacific Hwy, Tigard, OR, 97224-3790 - Related Terms: teeth whitening Tigard OR; dentist Tigard OR; (503) 985-8945;; 3/18/2019