When it comes to what’s attractive about a smile, everyone agrees that white teeth are important. A whopping 96 percent of respondents to an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry survey said a white smile makes people more attractive. (And really, what is up with the other 4 percent?)
Unfortunately, there’s a long list of things that can discolor your smile:
- Coffee, cola, and other staining drinks
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Some dark foods like berries
- Certain antibiotics and other medications
- Getting older
But fortunately, you’ve got lots of teeth whitening options at our Oklahoma City, OK dental office. Call 405-395-2283 to find out about our cosmetic dental treatments that will get your teeth whiter. Dr. Kevin Layton is happy to discuss them and help you select the one that’s right for your smile.
In the meantime, we’ve provided more information for you here on some of the cosmetic dentistry procedures you can choose.
Start With Teeth Whitening Treatments
The most conservative of our teeth whitening options is a professional teeth whitening treatment you can get in our office or use in your own home. The treatment in our office will get your teeth up to eight shades whiter in about an hour. All you have to do is sit back and relax while we apply the gel, then wait for your teeth to brighten.
If you’d prefer the convenience of professional teeth whitening at home, we’ll make customized whitening trays for you and also provide you with professional-strength gel you can use whenever you like.
Maybe you’re wondering why you should use our product when you can buy a costly teeth whitening product at any drugstore. That’s easy. Drugstore products are less effective because they contain a lower concentration of whitening ingredients. The more powerful formula of our teeth whitening products will get your smile whiter.
In addition, they are:
- Easier to use. Your trays fit perfectly because we make them using impressions of your teeth. So they are far easier to use than the messy strips or flimsy trays that come with over-the-counter teeth whitening products. With our trays, it’s simple to get full coverage.
- Offer predictable results. We’ve tested our products and only use ones we know and trust. There won’t be any unexpected surprises!
Plus, if you have questions or concerns, you can call our office for help. Try doing that with a drugstore product!
Teeth Whitening Won’t Always Work
Some kinds of discoloration don’t respond well to teeth whitening treatments. Whitening works well on stains that only affect the outer layer of tooth enamel. But it’s often not effective for intrinsic stains, where the inside of your tooth has darkened or changed color. Common causes of intrinsic stains include certain medications like tetracycline or a blow or other injury to your tooth.
Your enamel thins as you get older, which can also give you dingy-looking teeth. And certain kinds of discoloration simply respond better to teeth whitening procedures than others. Teeth with yellow/brown undertones are typically easier to lighten than those with green/gray tones.
You’ve Got Other Teeth Whitening Options
If teeth whitening doesn’t work for you, other teeth whitening options include dental veneers or dental bonding.
Veneers are extremely thin pieces of tooth-colored material that are custom-made for you at a dental lab. Dr. Layton provides impressions of your teeth and other information to the lab. When your veneers arrive, he applies them to the front surface of your teeth after removing a small amount of enamel to prepare them for the veneers. The entire process typically takes just two or three short appointments.
Veneers are a versatile cosmetic dentistry procedure. In addition to stains, we can use veneers to hide imperfections like chips, small cracks, and misshapen teeth. They can even be used to lengthen the look of too-short or worn-down teeth.
We offer a choice of three materials: porcelain, ceramic, or e.max, a special blend of ceramics. All three materials are prized for their:
- Durability. Veneers will last for many years, with proper care.
- Stain-resistance. These materials will stay white.
You can also brighten your smile with dental bonding. Dr. Layton applies tooth-colored resin directly to your teeth, then carefully shapes it so it looks natural. Then he cures it with a special light and polishes it. Bonding won’t last as long as veneers and is more susceptible to staining. It does have advantages, though.
Compared to veneers, bonding is:
- More affordable
- Less invasive, as it requires no removal of enamel
- Faster, as it can be completed in a single appointment