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Lone Oak Dental

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Teeth Whitening

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Our patients ask us lots of questions, and we think it's great! Questions show that you care about your dental needs and are looking to improve your health. The staff at Lone Oak Dental is very knowledgeable about insurance, preventing dental problems, and numerous other issues. We want to put you at ease by answering the questions that you may have. Remember, there are no dumb questions, so ask away!

Teeth Whitening

Common causes of discolored teeth are old fillings, drinking coffee and tea, and aging.

Let’s be honest, whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes don’t really work. Over-the-counter products like Crest Whitestrips do bleach teeth, but they only work on the front teeth, the effect is short lasting, and the strips move around and are annoying.  

The best way to significantly whiten your teeth is to have custom bleaching trays made in our office. Custom-made bleaching trays are very comfortable and last a long time. These trays are the most effective way to deliver prescription strength whitening products that will give you the fastest and the most reliable results. 

Whitening is most effective when done for longer periods of time, such as 6 to 8 hours. What better time to bleach your teeth than when you are sleeping? The research that has been done on whitening shows that most patients can expect good results in about 3 weeks by using carbamide peroxide in custom-made trays worn overnight. Rare conditions such as tetracycline-stained teeth may take 6 to 12 months.  

Like everything, dental fillings age and can discolor over time. If you have stains around old fillings, the fillings may be leaking and need to be replaced or polished. Often times a great improvement can be achieved by whitening and then replacing the old fillings with whiter and more color-stable restorations.  

Many Americans are not happy with their smile.  Some don’t like the shape or size of their teeth, others don’t like the color.  Crooked and overlapping teeth are also a common complaint.


The great news is that there are many options to improve your smile!  The technology today has given us clear aligners, Invisalign, and clear braces to straighten teeth.  Orthodontic options such as Invisalign and clear aligners allow us to move teeth into the correct position, get rid of crowding and overlapped teeth.  For chipped, worn and decayed teeth, we have treatments such as white fillings, veneers and cosmetic crowns.


Dr. Jordan believes that almost everyone that is unhappy with their smile can benefit from straightening their teeth and whitening.  With that in mind, a great way to start improving your smile is by using over the counter whitening strips.


As we age, our teeth often yellow.  However, teeth turning orange and brown in color are often a sign that the nerve in the tooth has died.  This often happens after a tooth has be bumped or hit and it may happen very soon after the accident or may take years.  Such coloring requires immediate attention from our dental office in Brookings.  


All teeth whether baby or adult teeth have a blood supply and a nerve that enters through the root.  If a tooth is hit hard enough, these arteries, nerves and veins are disrupted.  Broken blood vessels in the tooth will result in a brown and orange color.  While the discoloration may be gradual and not painful, a more serious process called resorption may be occurring.  Resorption often is caused by trauma and results in the root of the tooth being eaten away.  This can lead to tooth and bone loss.  

These teeth often require root canal treatment and such therapy should be completed as soon as possible to prevent resorption of the tooth root or infection.  The orange color can often be conservatively resolved with internal bleaching.  If the coloring cannot be resolved with whitening, it may require a veneer or crowning the tooth.  If you have any questions, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Jordan.  

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