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Teeth Whitening in Valdosta, Georgia

Are you unhappy with the appearance of your yellowed or otherwise discolored teeth? Discolored teeth can make your smile look unhealthy or aged, but teeth whitening can usually restore a more youthful and healthy looking bright white smile. Teeth whitening can be done either in our office as a quick procedure or as a take-home procedure that gives gradual results, but ultimately whitens your teeth more completely.

To learn whether teeth whitening can help you achieve a healthy, attractive smile, please call (229) 242-5511 or email for an appointment with Valdosta, GA cosmetic dentist Dr. Nelson Clements.

Two Types of Stained Teeth

Teeth whitening is very effective at correcting one kind of tooth staining, but it is completely ineffective for other types of discolored teeth. To know whether teeth whitening is right for you, you have to understand the type of staining you have.

Extrinsic staining occurs when teeth become stained from outside sources. Intrinsic staining occurs when the tooth becomes discolored from within.

The most common causes of extrinsic staining are:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Chocolate
  • Colas
  • Red wine
  • Dark beer
  • Berries
  • Smoking

These stains appear gradually over time. You may remember your teeth being whiter–and have pictures proving it–but now your teeth are discolored. It’s also important to note that your teeth can even be stained by light-colored foods and beverages, such as white wine, which is acidic, and allows stains from other sources to penetrate into your teeth.

Intrinsic staining occurs when your teeth becomes discolored from within. Probably the most common cause is tooth trauma, which can essentially cause a tooth to be bruised. It may turn dark brown or black. Sometimes, this is a sign that the tooth has died and needs to be treated with a root canal or pulled, but other times the tooth is still alive. Teeth can also be stained by enamel defects caused while the tooth was forming. In these cases, the tooth will either emerge discolored or get discolored as a result of a specific event. These types of discoloration do not respond to teeth whitening.

An in-between case is tetracycline-related staining. Tetracycline is an antibiotic that, along with other tetracycline side effects, can cause your dentin–the middle layer of your teeth, between the outer enamel and the inner pulp–to become discolored. Your teeth may initially seem yellow, but turn brown over time. This can sometimes be affected by teeth whitening.

Valdosta Teeth Whitening Before

Actual Valdosta Patient Before Teeth Whitening

Valdosta Teeth Whitening After

After Whitening Veneers and Crowns

How Teeth Whitening Works

Teeth whitening is a chemical process. We expose your teeth to a concentrated chemical solution, usually a form of peroxide, which breaks down the staining molecules that are trapped in your teeth. It is essentially the same mechanism that is used in over-the-counter remedies, but because we are able to handle the solution more carefully, we are allowed to use a stronger formula.

We use the most effective method for delivering the whitening solution. We create custom-made whitening trays for you. These fit precisely around your teeth and allow you to add whitening compound every night before you go to bed. The close fit of these trays ensures even contact with your teeth and allows for maximum effectiveness of whitening. After a few weeks, your teeth will be dramatically whiter. Because this approach gives gradual whitening, it’s more subtle. And it can make your teeth whiter than in-office whitening. Plus, it’s easy to maintain whitening this way–your results are essentially permanent.

What If Teeth Whitening Doesn’t Work?

As we noted, teeth whitening isn’t always going to whiten your teeth. If your teeth don’t respond to whitening, it may be due to intrinsic staining or it may be related to thin enamel that is allowing your dentin–which can be yellow, brown, or grey–to show through.

In either of these cases, the solution is to conceal your discolored teeth with porcelain veneers or dental crowns.

To learn the best approach to whiten your teeth in Valdosta, GA, please call (229) 242-5511 or email for an appointment with cosmetic dentist Dr. Nelson Clements.