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All dentistry is fundamentally involved with aesthetics. A driving motivation for dentists in restoring altered dentition is to do so in such a way that the result is as natural and visually pleasing as possible--as well as functional. Some aspects of dentistry, however, deal almost exclusively with the appearance of dentition--as opposed to its sound function. This sub-specialty of dentistry is often referred to as aesthetic or cosmetic dentistry.

Academy Dental offers aesthetic services including custom porcelain veneers, implants, crowns, and bridgework. For those patients seeking to whiten their teeth without drilling, we recommend the use of bleaching trays and tooth whiteners.


There's no reason to put up with gaps in your teeth or with teeth that are stained, badly shaped or crooked. Today a veneer placed on top of your teeth can correct nature's mistakes or the result of an injury and help you have a beautiful smile.

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front side of teeth. They're made by a dental technician, usually in a dental lab, working from a model provided by us.

You should know that this is usually an irreversible process because it's necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from your teeth to accommodate the shell.

Sometimes, we may recommend that you avoid some foods and beverages that may stain or discolor your veneers such as coffee, tea, or red wine. Sometimes a veneer might chip or fracture. But for many people the results are more than worth it.

Teeth Whitening
Everybody loves a bright white smile, and there are a variety of products and procedures available to help you improve the look of yours.

Many people are satisfied with the sparkle they get from brushing twice daily with a fluoride-containing toothpaste, cleaning between their teeth once a day and the regular cleanings at our office. If you decide you would like to go beyond this to make your smile look brighter, please come see us to discuss your options of available over-the-counter options or a tray-based whitener.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my teeth be any brighter?
You may want to start by paying us a visit. We can tell you whether whitening procedures may be effective for you. Whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellow-ish hued teeth will probably bleach well, brownish-colored teeth may bleach less well, and grayish-hued teeth may not bleach well at all. Likewise, bleaching may not enhance your smile if you have had bonding or tooth-colored fillings placed in your front teeth. The whitener will not affect the color of these materials, and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. In these cases, you may want to investigate other options, like porcelain veneers or dental bonding.

What is in-office bleaching?
If you are a candidate for bleaching, some dentists may suggest a procedure that can be done in the office. This procedure is called chairside bleaching and may require more than one office visit. Each visit may take from 30 minutes to one hour.

During chairside bleaching, the dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect the oral soft tissues. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth, and a special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent. Lasers have been used during tooth whitening procedures to enhance the action of the whitening agent.

We at Academy Dental do not currently offer in-office bleaching.

What is tray-based whitening?
Tray-based whitening products are used at home and are dispensed by us. These products require the fabrication of bleaching trays unique to your own teeth and a bleaching solution.

Bleaching solutions. These products contain peroxide(s), which actually bleach the tooth enamel. These products rely on percent carbamide peroxide as the bleaching agent. Carbamide peroxide comes in several different concentrations (e.g., 10%, 16%, 22%).

Peroxide-containing whiteners typically come in a gel and are placed in your custom bleaching trays. Usage regimens vary. Some products are used for about twice a day for 2 weeks, and others are intended for overnight use for 1-2 weeks. When you obtain the bleaching solution from us, we'll make a custom-fitted bleaching tray for you that will fit your teeth precisely.

We'll also visit with you regarding possible side effects. Teeth that are undergoing whitening can become quite bothersome. For example, teeth can become sensitive during the period when you are using the bleaching solution. In many cases, this sensitivity is temporary and should lessen once the treatment is finished. Some people also experience soft tissue irritation from either the tray or from the bleaching solution that may come in contact with the tissues.

What over-the-counter whitening products are available?
There are many types of products available for use at home that are purchased over-the-counter.

Toothpastes. All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives. "Whitening" toothpastes have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these products do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth.

Whiteners. These include over-the-counter strips and rinses and even gels. If you have interest, we usually recommend a trial period with any of these FDA approved products. It has been our experience that results vary too widely to make product recommendations.

When selecting a whitener or any dental product, we recommend you look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance—your assurance that ADA standards of safety and effectiveness have been met.

Additional Resources
ADA Statement on the Safety and Effectiveness of Tooth Whitening Products

Improving your smile with dental veneers

Tooth Whitening: What you should know

source: American Dental Association