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Should I whiten my teeth before or after cosmetic dental procedures?

Friday, April 15th, 2016

teeth whitening ChicagoOften patients who want to address aesthetic flaws in their smile also would like to improve the shade of their teeth through teeth whitening. The timing of such a treatment should be carefully considered within the context of other interventions that the patient may be receiving.

Your cosmetic dentist will advise you on the most appropriate sequencing of all of your treatments, including teeth whitening. With some interventions, teeth whitening may need to take place at the beginning of the process, while others should be postponed until closer to the end of the treatment timeline.

For example, if your cosmetic dentist is planning to place porcelain veneers as part of the effort to enhance your smile, it will be necessary to undergo the teeth whitening before the veneers are bonded to your biological teeth. Veneers do not respond to teeth whitening gels, so you must be satisfied with the shade of your teeth before they are placed so that your natural enamel will match your veneers.

However, in other instances, it may make sense to hold off on teeth whitening. A patient who is anticipating getting braces may not want to get their teeth bleached prior to having the appliances bonded to the teeth. While the patient is wearing braces, the teeth may get stained around the perimeter of the appliances, leaving the patient with two-toned teeth.

These are just two examples of possible sequencing of teeth whitening. You should consult with your dentist to determine what approach makes the most sense in your specific case.

When the time comes for your teeth whitening treatment, rest assured that you can see the results you want with a minimal investment of your time. An in-office system, such as ZOOM! laser whitening, can leave teeth up to 10 shades whiter in as little as an hour. This compressed timeline is a courtesy from lasers that activate the bleaching gel, helping them to eliminate stains much more quickly.

Teeth whitening can add a nice flourish to a smile makeover, but you should be sure to undergo this treatment at the right time. If you are interested in including teeth whitening in your treatment plan, be sure to discuss this with our experts at Ora Dental Studio during your initial consultation. Contact one of our convenient locations today!



Your Most Common Teeth Whitening Questions Answered

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

teeth whitening ChicagoAre you curious about teeth whitening? Perhaps you have tried toothpastes and strips from a supermarket and feel that store-bought products didn’t produce noticeable results. Did you know that professional teeth whitening is actually very effective? This quick, non-invasive procedure can lighten your smile up to ten shades. Our cosmetic dentists utilize a system called Zoom!, which involves the use of a safe dental laser and prescription-grade bleaching agents to produce a dramatically whiter smile in about an hour’s time. Following are some answers to common questions about professional teeth whitening.

What makes professional teeth whitening effective?

The reason professional whitening is effective is because the ingredients used in the whitening solution are potent enough to penetrate the enamel surface of teeth. Permanent tooth stains form underneath tooth enamel and over the counter products lack the concentration to remove anything but surface stains, which form on top of tooth enamel. Professional whitening systems have the strength and concentration to bleach away the deepest discoloration and stains.

Why is a laser used?

The Zoom! whitening system involves using a laser to speed up the whitening process. This means that patients can enjoy a dramatically brighter smile immediately after a 45-minute session at our office. Since the laser emits a concentrated light beam, it not only accelerates the bleaching process, it enhances it.

Is professional whitening safe for my teeth and gums?

The whitening solution used by our cosmetic dentist office is safe for teeth and our team will take precautions to protect sensitive oral tissues like the linings of lips and cheeks along with the gums. Protective gauze and liquid dam are applied over the gums to prevent the bleaching solution from migrating off teeth. Patients may notice slight tooth sensitivity after a whitening treatment but these sensations will subside in a day or so.

How long will my white smile last?

After a professional teeth whitening treatment, patients can expect their smile to stay white for at least a year. There are ways to prolong the effects of treatment, however. We recommend that patients avoid smoking and drink beverages like coffee, soda, and wine through a straw.

To learn more about our cosmetic dentistry services, call us at Ora Dental Studio to reserve an appointment.



Dental Myths: All Teeth Whitening Options Are the Same

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

teeth whitening ChicagoContrary to popular opinion, not all teeth whitening products and whitening treatments are created equal. The notion that all teeth whitening products and treatments are similar is a commonly held misconception caused by claims made by over-the-counter products. While these products may claim to lighten permanent stains, it is important for patients to remember that these products only contain mild bleaching agents and lack the clinical level of potency that our cosmetic dentist can prescribe. Furthermore, our practice offers Zoom! teeth whitening treatments which can brighten a smile up to ten shades in just under an hour.

Why Over the Counter Products Disappoint

Store bought whitening toothpastes, strips, and rinses only contain a small percentage of the active ingredients used to whiten teeth. To make up for a lack of potency, harsh abrasives are often added to remove surface stains. Abrasives, over time, can weaken tooth enamel and cause permanent damage to teeth.

How Zoom! Teeth Whitening Works

Zoom! teeth whitening is a system that utilizes a laser beam to deepen and accelerate the bleaching process. This procedure is safe and effective. First, a soft oral appliance is inserted into the mouth to hold it open. Then, our caring staff will place protective gauze and liquid dam over sensitive, soft oral tissues and then apply a prescription strength whitening solution over the front of teeth. Patients simply relax in our lush examination chairs while the laser activates the whitening gel. Within about 45 minutes, treatment is complete.

Before and after treatment, our cosmetic dentists will use shade indicators to measure the level of progress provided by the Zoom! system. Our patients who have received this treatment are incredibly happy with the results it provides. By practicing good oral hygiene and avoiding dark colored foods and beverages, you can preserve your newly whitened smile for a year or longer.

We offer a number of cosmetic treatments. To schedule a consultation, call our friendly team at Ora Dental Studio today.



Who can benefit from teeth whitening?

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

teeth whitening ChicagoNearly any patient who is dissatisfied with the color of his or her teeth may benefit from teeth whitening. This treatment can be used to correct a variety of issues, ranging from teeth that have yellowed due to age or those that have been stained by food, beverages or medications.

Teeth whitening can make significant improvements to a patient’s smile when provided as a single treatment or when used in combination with other treatments, even in a smile makeover.

The basic premise of all whitening treatments is the same. Gels that contain bleaching agents are applied to the teeth and the bleaching agents get into the enamel to release any stains or discolorations that may be present.

While the mechanisms are similar, delivery methods can vary, however. Patients who work with a cosmetic dentist to brighten and whiten their smiles are likely to get more consistent and noticeable results than those who opt for over-the-counter whitening products.

A dentist has access to stronger bleaching agents, and many cosmetic dentists offer in-office systems such as Zoom!, which leaves the teeth up to 10 shades whiter in as little as an hour.

With Zoom!, the cosmetic dentist uses a specialized laser to activate the bleaching gel, helping it to remove stains more quickly.

Patients who are willing to wait a few days for the bleaching to become noticeable can also choose to whiten their teeth at home using custom-designed trays provided by their dentists. The patient fills these trays with the whitening gel provided and wears them according to the schedule recommended by the dentist.

Because patients have a number of options for professional-strength teeth whitening treatments, you should talk to your dentist to learn which treatment will best match your needs. If you need to get quick results, Zoom! may be a good fit. However, if you have less time and tighter finances, you may want to choose a conventional tray system instead.

Teeth whitening can make dramatic improvements to your smile. Ask your dentist what results can be reasonably expected in your case.



Will Teeth Whitening Cause Tooth Sensitivity?

Monday, September 15th, 2014

teeth whitening ChicagoAmong cosmetic dental enhancements, teeth whitening certainly ranks at the top of the most popular. According to many polls, the vast majority of people find white smiles more appealing and attractive than dull or yellowed smiles. Since a white smile is a highly desired physical characteristic, many people turn to store-bought products that promise to whiten their smiles. Unfortunately, many of these products, according to our cosmetic dentist, can strip tooth enamel of important minerals and even cause tooth sensitivity. Instead of using store bought products, our practice encourages patients to choose professional teeth whitening treatments at our office to protect teeth and gums.

How Store-Bought Products Affect Teeth and Gums

Many whitening products like toothpaste contain abrasives to help remove surface stains. However, prolonged use of abrasive toothpaste can weaken tooth enamel and strip away essential minerals that protect teeth from tooth decay. Store-bought whitening trays or strips often do not fit properly and can irritate the gums and cause tooth sensitivity.

How Professional Whitening is Safe and More Effective

When you receive professional teeth whitening treatments from our cosmetic dentist, our team will take special precautions to protect gums and teeth. Our dentist utilizes the Zoom! laser-assisted teeth whitening system to produce safe and dramatic results. Specially designed strips of gauze and liquid dam, a protective coating that is placed over the gum tissue, will protect the gums and soft oral tissues in the mouth.

Once the preparatory measures have been taken, a potent bleaching solution will be applied to the outer surfaces of teeth. A special dental laser will then hover over the teeth to accelerate and deepen the whitening process. The procedure takes about 45 minutes and patients will leave our office with a smile that is eight to ten shades whiter.

Some patients report mild tooth sensitivity but these symptoms commonly dissipate within days of treatment. To schedule a consultation with an experienced cosmetic dentist, contact Ora Dental Studio today.



Top Teeth-Staining Foods and Beverages

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

teeth whitening ChicagoMany dark colored foods and liquids have the ability to stain anything they come in contact with for just a couple of minutes. Think of a wine spill on your white linen … if not cleaned immediately, there will be a stain. The enamel covering on your teeth is very similar. When contact occurs, the potential for staining arises especially when repeated. These stains are usually topical, and can be treated in one brief dental visit with teeth whitening.

The teeth whitening process performed by your dental professional is safe and effective. The patient is advised to have their teeth cleaned to remove plaque build-up and some stains. A brief dental exam will determine if the patient is qualified to undergo teeth whitening.

At your whitening appointment, the patient will be prepped with all the safeguards to prevent soft tissue burns. Precautions also include safety glasses. The whitening agents used by your cosmetic dentist are the most powerful in the teeth whitening industry so having a dental professional perform the procedure guarantees optimum results with safety and comfort a priority.

The whitening gel is applied and enhanced with the use of laser technology. One or two applications are usually sufficient to lighten teeth up to eight shades in one appointment. Teeth continue to lighten up to two weeks after treatment so the final result might not be apparent immediately following treatment.

The best way to maximize your teeth whitening experience is to avoid or limit the things that stained your teeth. These include coffee, tea, red wine and sugary beverages like cola and many sports drinks. If you know you are going to imbibe, use a straw to let liquid bypass teeth and plan to brush or rinse as soon as possible following consumption to prevent the beverage from sitting in your mouth.

Foods like beets, tomato based products like pasta sauces, other dark sauces like soy, berries, and many fruits that are dark or brightly colored have the capability to stain. Acidic foods like many citrus fruits can soften dental enamel allowing the foods and beverages we consume to penetrate enamel resulting in stains.

Other staining products include tobacco (smoked or chewed) and some flavored chewing gums like grape (many brightly colored gums can stain teeth).

Teeth whitening is a wonderful solution that promises a smile makeover in one dental visit. Contact our team at Ora Dental Studio to reserve your appointment today.



Will Teeth Whitening Make My Veneers Whiter?

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Among the high quality esthetic procedures that can be performed by your cosmetic dentist, teeth whitening is easily one of the most popular requests. It’s a simple way to make your smile more radiant and more inviting. Plus, procedures like Zoom! laser whitening have been proven to be safe and extraordinarily effective on a wide range of stains. When the aging process, medications, smoking and other tobacco products, coffee, and red wine have left your smile looking duller than you remember, you can turn to professional whitening procedures for an easy solution.

It is important to have your teeth whitening performed by a dental professional in order to avoid unexpected results, or worse, no results at all! For example, certain types of dental work will not respond to teeth whitening procedures, including resin bonding and porcelain restorations. Dental crowns and veneers cannot be bleached with teeth whitening.

However, the neighboring teeth will become whiter, producing an uneven and undesirable effect. This outcome can certainly be avoided with a little prior planning and some communication with your dentist.

If you are interested in a true smile “makeover”, teeth whitening is generally the cosmetic procedure that is recommended first. By lightening the shade of your teeth to meet your preferences, any future dental restorations can be selected in matching shades. If you have old or worn restorations that are darker than you would prefer or if they need to be replaced, teeth whitening can still be performed. After whitening, your old dental work can be updated and matched to the new shade of your enamel.

Porcelain veneers and crowns are considered permanent cosmetic restorations and have a lifespan that can easily exceed 10-15 years. When the time for replacing your veneers and crowns arises, you may wish to take advantage of the opportunity to have your teeth whitened. By timing your whitening procedure in this manner, you’ll have the option of selecting whiter or brighter replacement restorations.

Talk to your cosmetic dentist at Ora Dental Studio today for help in getting the most out of your teeth whitening experience.



Enjoy a Brighter Smile with Zoom! Teeth Whitening

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Dingy teeth can detract from your smile, and an unattractive smile can hold people back both personally and professionally.

Stains caused by foods, beverages or even medications can discolor your teeth, and the aging process makes them yellow as the underlying dentin is exposed. Teeth whitening can help patients overcome these issues.

Whether you’re getting ready for a big upcoming event, like a wedding or reunion, or you just want to make a better first impression in general, teeth whitening can help. 

Whether you’re getting ready for a big upcoming event, like a wedding or reunion, or you just want to make a better first impression in general, teeth whitening can help.

Most teeth whitening treatments begin with some type of bleaching gel that contains a peroxide that eradicates stains from the tooth’s surface. Patients have several over-the-counter options for teeth whitening, but these products tend to be less effective than those provided by a cosmetic dentist. The bleaching gels in professional-grade treatments tend to be stronger.

One particularly effective and efficient teeth whitening treatment is Zoom!, an in-office system that gives patients a noticeably whiter smile (by as many as eight shades) in as little as one hour. Zoom! is able to brighten the smile in such a short time frame because it activates the bleaching gel with a laser, enabling the gel to achieve its effects more quickly. Zoom! is both convenient and comfortable for patients.

To extend the lifespan of your Zoom! whitening treatment, you should limit consumption of foods and beverages that may stain the teeth. Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine will also improve the smile’s appearance.

Additionally, many patients who initially undergo Zoom! treatments in the dentist’s office also opt for at-home touch ups using a Zoom! whitening pen or custom-designed trays that can hold the bleaching gel.

Your smile is one of your most important assets, so don’t let teeth that are not-so-pearly-white be a drag on your self-confidence. Explore Zoom! teeth whitening to give your smile’s appearance—and your self-esteem—a noticeable boost in a minimum amount of time. Ask a member of our dental team for more information about this innovative tooth whitening system by calling 312-328-9007 today.



Eliminate Tough Dental Stains with Zoom! Laser Whitening

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Teeth whitening is possibly the safest, quickest and most effective cosmetic enhancement that can be completed in one short appointment.

Tough dental stains that are not removed at your twice yearly dental cleaning can be eliminated with the powerful whitening agents and laser technique employed with the Zoom! teeth whitening system.

Although your dental hygienist is a pro at removing plaque build-up and those pesky stains on top of dental enamel, the cleaning and polishing rendered may not do enough to whiten your smile. Zoom laser whitening can lighten your teeth up to eight shades in one brief appointment.

The advantages to Zoom! are numerous:

  • Your teeth whitening procedure is completed by a dental professional who has been trained to offer you the safest and most effective teeth whitening process available.
  • All safety precautions are taken to ensure the powerful whitening agents will not damage sensitive gum and soft mouth tissue.
  • The changes that take place offer a dramatic difference in about one hour.
  • Zoom! offers take home whitening kits for patients who wish to whiten at their own speed in the privacy of their home. Touch-up kits are also available for use at home if in-office whitening starts to fade.
  • A discussion with your cosmetic dentist prior to whitening will provide all the answers to questions you may have including addressing unrealistic expectations, side effects such as sensitivity, and how often you can whiten. When acquiring whitening kits on the internet or at the corner drug store, there is no one to answer questions about a product or address concerns regarding its use or anticipated results.

The value you receive with whitening speaks for itself. This is a cosmetic procedure that is both economical and non-invasive.

Knowing what contributes to dental stain can help you keep your new smile bright. Beverages like coffee, tea, red wine and cola are the biggest offenders and their consumption should be limited. Foods like tomatoes or blueberries are healthy for your body, but can stain your teeth.

Smoking is another leading cause of dental stain and yellow teeth, not to mention bad breath and the health hazards attributed to tobacco use.

Daily flossing and brushing coupled with twice yearly visits to our experienced team of dentists for cleaning and exam will keep teeth healthy and your new Zoom! smile sparkling.



Are there side effects from teeth whitening?

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

It may be tough to avoid the list of potential side effects that are associated with modern teeth whitening procedures. Although today’s available tooth whitening products are generally considered to be relatively safe, you should be aware of the possible side effects and consider them carefully before choosing any cosmetic dental procedure.

In most cases, your cosmetic dentist will recommend a professional whitening solution rather than an over-the-counter option in order to produce the most desirable results with the lowest risk for side-effects. For example, an in-office application of Zoom! whitening can provide you with a long list of benefits and a very short list of disadvantages: 

Your cosmetic dentist will recommend a professional whitening solution rather than an over-the-counter option in order to produce the most desirable results with the lowest risk for side-effects.

  • Safe, effective, and fast procedure
  • Low, or no post-operative sensitivity
  • Improved formulation strengthens tooth enamel
  • Long lasting results (up to 18 months)
  • Performed by a dental professional with teeth whitening experience.

Choosing a professionally applied product can significantly reduce the potential for the uncomfortable short-term side effects that may be experienced when having your teeth bleached. The primary active ingredient, hydrogen peroxide, can cause increased temperature and possible gum irritation.

During the whitening process and for a short period following the procedure, tooth sensitivity may occur. This sensation is typically of a short duration, and does not indicate any change or damage to the teeth or gums. Professionally formulated products such as Zoom! are designed to reduce this side effect, even for patients who have a history of sensitive teeth.

When the whitening solution is allowed to come into contact with the gum tissue or tongue, a temporary burning or tingling sensation can occur. This is a reversible condition that can be avoided or minimized when the procedure is performed by a trained professional.

If you are considering whitening your teeth, it is best to consult your cosmetic dentist. Your teeth will be assessed to ensure you are an ideal candidate for teeth whitening, and the most appropriate method will be recommended for you.

To learn more about Zoom! teeth whitening and other procedures that can enhance your smile, contact Ora Dental Studios at 312-491-9474 for a professional consultation.