Teeth Whitening Simi Valley, CA
Teeth whitening or bleaching products brighten teeth that have been stained or darkened by food, tobacco use, age or injury. There are a variety of in-office and take-home teeth whitening products to reduce or eliminate such stains. Dr. Bankhart in Simi Valley, CA offer patients take home teeth whitening that give the desired results with a lesser risk of tooth sensitivity.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Unless you have interior staining from tetracycline or tooth trauma, most teeth are stained in the enamel layer. This is because the enamel is somewhat porous, so drinking coffee or red wine or eating raspberries allows some of the color to enter the enamel. This is similar to the way your shirt can acquire a stain. When we place the hydrogen peroxide gel onto your teeth it acts in a similar way to laundry detergent. It also penetrates the enamel and breaks up the stain into tiny pieces that are then washed away.
What Causes Stained Teeth?
Our teeth can become stained either in the enamel layer or deeper in the dentin layer. Staining from foods and the like affects the enamel, the outer protective layer of the tooth. Our enamel is somewhat porous, and that’s why it can become stained by food or drink. Those stains respond very well to whitening treatments.
Unfortunately, stains in the dentin, the second layer of our teeth that are the bulk of the tooth mass, do not respond to whitening treatments. This is because the staining is deeper than the whitening agents can penetrate. If you’ve had staining in the dentin, Dr. Bankhardt can place porcelain veneers over the stained teeth or can cover them with composite resin with dental bonding or a very esthetic all ceramic crown.
These are the different factors that can stain your teeth:
- Foods — Blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries all have natural pigments in them that stain your enamel.
- Drinks — Coffee, tea, red wine, some fruit juices, even colas can all stain your teeth, especially if you drink a lot of them.
- Genes — The color of the enamel on our teeth is different, along with the dentin beneath (which can influence the outer color). Some teeth are simply more yellow than others.
- Smoking — Nicotine in cigarettes leaves yellow stains on your teeth.
- Drugs — Tetracycline is the main culprit in stained teeth. Heavily used as an antibiotic in the 60s and 70s, it deeply stained the teeth of many children.
- Fluorosis — There can be too much of a good thing when it comes to fluoride. Too much leads to fluorosis, which stains the teeth. This is rare, so don’t believe the conspiracy theorists on the Internet!
Why Get Teeth Whitening?
Everyone likes to see a bright white smile every morning in the mirror. Plus, a bright smile gives you confidence around the office and with friends. No one loves the yellowing, dingy teeth that show years of accumulated stains.
What our patients are saying about their Teeth Whitening Results:
Teeth Whitening Procedure — Loretta L. (Patient since 2012)
What a pleasant experience….but then again, did i think that I would have any thing less. Quick, efficient
Jun 27, 2012
At-Home Teeth Whitening Treatments
At Dr. Bankhardt’s practice we have patients who are avid fans of our at-home whitening treatment. Our treatment provides real whitening through the use of our professional-strength whitening gels. This is a far cry from the sloppy strips and ill-fitting one-size-fits-all trays of over-the-counter whitening options.
Benefits of At-Home Teeth Whitening
- You do this whenever you want
- Whitening is done in just 2 – 3 weeks in the comfort of your home
- Wearing the trays is easy while watching TV or doing other things at home
- Custom trays fit your teeth securely, unlike over-the-counter options
- Whitening results mirror more expensive in-office treatments
How Long Does It Take To Whiten Teeth At Home?
At Dr. Bankhardt’s office with our at-home-whitening program most patients need to wear their custom-made trays about 90 – 120 minutes a day for 2 -3 weeks initially. After that, most patients “touch-up” their whitening on an as needed basis, but only need to wear their trays for 30 – 60 minutes daily for 3 or 4 consecutive days. Whitening gel refills are always available for only $40.
How Long Do Results Last After Teeth Whitening?
This depends on the individual. Once you use our at-home whitening treatment, your teeth will be several shades whiter. But this is not permanent. Just as that red wine, coffee and those raspberries stained them before, food and drink will stain them again. How fast they stain is variable by the person, what they eat and drink, how porous their tooth enamel is, and how diligent their home hygiene program. Generally, patients say their teeth stay much whiter for a year or so.
If you’ve already been using our professional at-home trays and whitening gel, you can simply come in and get some new gel to use as occasional maintenance.
Will Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity?
Teeth whitening has been a successful, popular dental treatment to brighten smiles the world over. It’s been performed for over two decades and has proven to be very safe. Because the whitening agents penetrate the enamel on your teeth to break loose the stains, this can make your teeth a little sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks for a day or two and then your teeth return to normal. But if you have particularly sensitive teeth, you should tell us before we begin your whitening, as we can desensitize your teeth with potassium nitrate or calcium phosphate.
Does Insurance Cover Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is considered an elective procedure, so it is not covered by dental insurance plans. You can pay for it out of your health savings (HSA) plan. Our fee is only $275 and includes everything you need to brighten your smile.
Schedule a Teeth Whitening Consultation
Robert D. Bankhardt, DDS proudly provides patients in Simi Valley, CA and surrounding areas, including Chatsworth, Moor Park, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, and Northridge, with teeth whitening services. Call (805) 584-1194 or fill out a Contact Form here to schedule an appointment!