My Blog

Posts for tag: teeth whitening

By Richard A. Oppenlander, D.D.S., P.L.C.
April 27, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

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.”

By Richard A. Oppenlander, D.D.S., P.L.C.
May 22, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

You’re satisfied with your smile appearance except for one thing — your teeth aren’t as white and bright as you wish they could be. So, you’ve decided to do something about their dull yellow color.

You’re also thinking about buying a whitening product you can use yourself rather than a professional application. But you still want the answers to two questions: are home whitening kits safe? And, are they effective?

By and large the answer to the first question is yes — if you use it as directed. The whitening agents in FDA-approved products are in safe proportions to other ingredients and won’t cause any major health issues. That said, if you go beyond the instructed dosage you could damage your teeth, especially your enamel, and cause long-term problems with your dental care.

In addition, if you (or a family member) are still in your early teens, you may want to wait until you’re older. Although most permanent teeth have come in by puberty, their enamel still needs to mature. The chemicals in a whitening kit could be too strong for their under-developed enamel. It’s best to get our advice on whether your teeth are mature enough for whitening.

As to their effectiveness, home whitening kits should perform as their labeling indicates. But there are some differences in effects between a home kit and a professional application.

Although a home kit usually uses the same whitening agents (like carbamide peroxide), its strength is much lower than a professional treatment — about 10% of volume compared to around 30% in clinical solutions. This means it will take much longer to achieve the desired whitening effect that a professional application can in fewer sessions, and with less precision. In addition, home kits are only effective on surface staining of the enamel — discoloration within a tooth requires treatment by a dentist.

You can get satisfactory results from a home whitening kit. But before you make a purchase, consult with us first — we can advise you on what to look for in your purchase, as well as determine if your teeth can benefit from whitening at home.

If you would like more information on teeth whitening, 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 “Tooth Whitening Safety Tips.”

By Richard A. Oppenlander, D.D.S., P.L.C.
March 29, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

What you need to know about teeth whitening treatments

If you have a coffee habit, chances are you now have teeth that are dull and dark, just like your coffee. Don’t worry, you don’t have to give teeth whiteningup your coffee to have a nice white smile. It’s time to think about a professional teeth whitening treatment. Teeth whitening treatments are now a state-of-the-art cosmetic dental procedure designed to give you the beautiful smile you deserve. Dr. Richard Oppenlander in Portage, Michigan wants to help your smile recover from your coffee habit.

Coffee is just one of the things that can stain your teeth. Red wine, tea and foods with a dark pigment, like berries, can also put their mark on your teeth. If you are a smoker, you already know what tobacco stains can do to make your teeth look darker.

Dr. Oppenlander wants you to know the main reason why your teeth look darker and more yellow. It’s because of normal aging. As you get older, your tooth enamel becomes thinner, and you can see through to the dentin underneath, which is yellow. This layer of dentin changes as you get older too. It becomes darker. The whole effect is that your teeth will look darker and more yellow as you age.

There is help for coffee-stained, aging teeth! Dr. Oppenlander offers two solutions to take years and stains off of your smile. Consider:

An in-office teeth whitening treatment, which uses a professional strength whitening solution applied to your teeth. Dr. Oppenlander uses a high-tech whitening light system to enhance the solution. The result is a smile that can be up to 8 shades whiter. The entire treatment takes about an hour which makes it the perfect solution for busy people who want to look great!

An at-home teeth whitening treatment, using custom-made bleaching trays and professional strength bleaching gel; you load the bleaching gel into the trays and wear them at your convenience until your teeth are as white as you want. At-home whitening is perfect for people who want convenience and privacy.

If you want to help your smile recover from your coffee habit, you owe it to yourself to consider a professional whitening treatment. It’s the go-to solution to have a beautiful white smile, quickly and conveniently. Why wait? Call Dr. Richard Oppenlander in Portage, Michigan today and be on your way to a great smile!