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Why Teeth Whitening May Not Be the Answer for Tooth Discoloration

tooth discoloration and teeth whiteningTeeth whitening has become commonplace in the dental industry and for good reason. When a patient is able to whiten their teeth even two to three shades whiter, it can greatly improve their confidence levels and restore their natural white smile. However, there are some patients that may attempt to have their teeth whitened, either professionally or with at-home kits, and never see the results they expect. Depending on the cause of your tooth discoloration, the process may be unsuccessful. There are some cases when teeth whitening may not be the best choice.

Primary Causes of Tooth Stains and Discoloration

Determining the root cause of tooth discoloration is the best way to determine whether or not teeth whitening will be the best choice for you. In some cases, action can be taken to reverse the discoloration and in other cases it may be beyond your control. Here are some common reasons your teeth may be discolored:

Poor Oral Hygiene: Aside from food and drink choices, poor oral hygiene is the second most common cause of yellowing teeth. Failure to brush and floss on a regular basis will lead to plaque build-up on the teeth, which will eventually lead to staining.

Disease: In some cases, tooth discoloration is caused by a certain illness or disease. There are certain medical conditions that affect tooth enamel and dentin in a negative way. Tooth color can also be affected by certain medical treatments as well. Radiation and chemotherapy, for example, can cause discoloration. Infants can experience tooth discoloration if their mother suffers from an infection during her pregnancy.

Medication: Certain medications, especially antibiotics, can discolor teeth. Doxycycline and tetracycline are the two most common medications that have been known to cause this issue. Antihistamines, blood pressure medication and antipsychotic drugs can also lead to tooth stains.

Aging: Over time, the enamel on your teeth naturally starts to wear away from constant use and grinding. Once the enamel starts to wear away, the underlying layer begins to show through, which is a natural yellow color.

Coffee and Teeth Discoloration

Foods and Drinks: For many people, the foods and drinks they consume contribute to the yellowing of their teeth. Coffee, tea, red wine and soft drinks are the biggest culprits. Beets, curried foods and tomato sauce can also contribute to tooth discoloration.

Genetics: Genetics can also play a role in the color of your teeth. There are some people that are born with naturally lighter shades of enamel or a thicker layer of enamel, while others have a naturally darker shade.

Trauma: Incidents that cause trauma to the nerve tissue can result in tooth discoloration. An accident, fall or root canal can all cause discoloration. The good news is that these color changes only occur in teeth that are affected by the incident.

Teeth Whitening – When Bleaching May Not Be the Best Option

Most people are under the impression that all tooth stains can be removed through the whitening process. Depending on the cause of your tooth stains, you may not be the best candidate for bleaching. Let’s take a look at some reasons why whitening may not be the best idea.

Dental Restorations: Those with dental restorations will be sorely disappointed to learn that both over the counter and professional teeth whitening products are ineffective against crowns, veneers, bridges and bonding (white fillings). In this case, bleaching will lead to uneven whitening. Teeth without restorations will appear visibly whiter than the restorations themselves. For this reason, whitening should be done before restorations are put in place or plan to replace the more yellow restorations once bleaching is complete.

Allergies and Sensitivity: Those with sensitive teeth and gums are typically not good candidates for teeth whitening. The process itself often heightens tooth sensitivity, which can make the problem even worse. Defective restorations or receding gums can also be an issue. Furthermore, any person who is allergic to peroxide should not use whitening products.

Dental Health Issues: If you have cavities, exposed roots, periodontal disease or worn enamel, you should consult with your dentist before having your teeth whitened. Cavities may need to be treated before bleaching can occur as the whitening solutions could penetrate through the decayed areas of the tooth and increase sensitivity.

Expectations: Some people have unrealistic expectations when it comes to teeth whitening. How effective the whitening process is will depend greatly on the current state of your teeth and your lifestyle. For example, smokers will find that bleaching will only go so far and that many teeth stains will remain permanent or return quickly. There are also some individuals that expect to have “blinding white” teeth, which is unrealistic. Naturally white teeth are slightly whiter than the whites of your eyes. Also, keep in mind that some people have naturally darker teeth due to genetics.

Medications: Those who are on medication should always consult with their doctor before attempting any teeth whitening procedures.

Pregnancy: Teeth whitening is not recommended for women who are pregnant or lactating.

dentist in Greeley CO

Dr. Scott Williams | Dentist Greeley CO | Ascent Family Dental | (970) 351-6095

If you are considering teeth whitening but are unsure of whether or not you are a good candidate for the procedure, be sure to speak with your dentist. After a thorough examination, your dentist will be able to determine whether or not this is the right choice and how effective bleaching will be. Dr. Scott Williams and his staff would be happy to help you find a way to brighten your smile. Make an appointment today to discover whether or not teeth whitening can help restore your sparkling smile.

Ascent Family Dental
3535 W. 12th St., Ste B
Greeley, CO 80634
(970) 351-6095


Teeth Whitening Options for a Sparkling White Smile

Woman with flowersTeeth whitening options are plentiful and growing due to the well-documented fact that smiles are contagious and can enrich your life. A beautiful, healthy smile can improve physical health, boost your mood and lift your spirits, relieve stress, and convey a message of happiness and acceptance. Many people, however, can become very self-conscious and embarrassed to smile due to teeth that are discolored and dingy, stained, or yellowed with age.

Teeth discoloration can occur for a number of reasons including staining from tobacco use or drinking coffee or tea as well as the effects on your teeth from the natural aging process. Everyone would love to have a beautiful and healthy looking smile with bright white teeth which is why so many people have turned to teeth whitening products or have had or are considering teeth whitening procedures. There are many different teeth whitening options available today that can help you attain that gorgeous smile.

On your quest for whiter teeth, which will undoubtedly improve self-esteem, confidence and can even take years off your appearance, you should do some research and even consult with your dentist to find the right teeth whitening option for you. There are many at-home teeth whitening kits and treatments that can be purchased right at your local drug store, discount store and even some grocery stores. They have become extremely popular and can be relatively inexpensive and easy to use. But will they really give you the lasting results you are looking for? A treatment that works for one person may not be the right treatment for another depending upon the level of discoloration and the reason behind it.

Popular Teeth Whitening Options:

Whitening toothpaste: Most every brand of toothpaste nowadays has whitening available. Whitening toothpaste will not chemically whiten teeth nor will it provide immediate, drastic results. It contains mild abrasives and may also have added polishing agents designed to help remove surface stains thereby giving teeth a lighter appearance over time.

Teeth whitening strips: A popular and effective method of whitening that is inexpensive in comparison to professional whitening options. Teeth whitening strips are smooth on one side and the other side is coated with a gel containing peroxide that is placed on top of the teeth and worn for a specified amount of time. Repeat applications are usually needed to achieve desired results and the strips may be a little difficult to apply evenly or reach back teeth.

Teeth whitening mouthwash: Mouthwash has also taken its place in the line-up of over the counter teeth whitening options. The labeling is its most enticing feature claiming it is an easy way to whiten teeth; however, the hydrogen peroxide and mild acids present in a whitening mouthwash are designed to help dissolve surface stains but will not effectively penetrate teeth to allow for true whitening.

Teeth whitening pens: A small, easy-to-use, whitening product that can be used on the go anytime, anywhere. The pen contains a gel which is virtually painted onto your teeth in a thin layer. Like any other whitener, it does have its drawbacks because it can be difficult to apply evenly and the gel can easily come off the tooth after application without anything to hold it in place.

Teeth whitening kiosks: Kiosks in the mall offer a teeth whitening treatment for consumers. It is typically a paint-on process using a gel containing carbamide. These kiosks are not regulated and usually have operators who are not health-trained individuals are delivering the whitening treatment.

These teeth whitening options are among the most common used by consumers looking for a quick and inexpensive way to have that sparkling white smile. Results and effectiveness can vary greatly and are typically inconsistent and temporary. Patience is a virtue when it comes to teeth whitening on your own because repeat applications are almost always needed and may or may not provide desired results.

Greeley Teeth Whitening Options to Consider

Teeth whitening options that are more effective and give longer lasting results than the previous methods mentioned are offered by your dentist. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, teeth whitening procedures are the number one requested cosmetic dentistry procedure.

Laser teeth whitening: An aggressive whitening procedure performed by your dentist that is highly effective and will give you beautiful results. The unique teeth whitening formula used combined with the heat and the light delivered by the laser, provides dramatic results in a very short time. Several sessions may be required due to the severity of the discoloration of the teeth and it is also the most expensive teeth whitening option with costs ranging anywhere between $500 and $2,500.

custom bleaching tray

custom bleaching tray

Custom bleaching trays: Custom trays are molded from an impression of your teeth to fit only your mouth. These trays hold the whitening gel and are then applied to your teeth for a perfect fit which will give even coverage of the gel on your teeth. The tray material is typically very thin and can easily be worn anytime of the night or day. Better quality gels with higher concentrations of peroxide provide quicker results and the use of desensitizing agents help to minimize irritation and allow for a more comfortable process.

The teeth whitening options listed are in no way an all-inclusive list as there are many different treatments to consider. When deciding which method is right for you doing your homework will be a huge help. A beautiful smile may be your goal but it is important to understand which options are safe and effective and will give you the longest lasting result within your budget.

I’m Scott Williams and I practice family and cosmetic dentistry in Greeley CO while also serving the Eaton, Evans, Windsor, and Kersey CO areas. For professional Greeley teeth whitening results you’ll be proud of, contact my dental practice below. We look forward to hearing from you.


Ascent Family Dental
3535 W. 12th St., Ste B
Greeley, CO 80634
(970) 351-6095

At Home Teeth Whitening- The Importance of Dentist Supervision

I’m Dr. Scott Williams and I practice family and cosmetic dentistry in Greeley CO. We also serve the Eaton, Windsor, Evans and Kersey CO. At home teeth whitening has become an attractive alternative to in-office bleaching, and for obvious reasons. It offers patients a convenient, portable and affordable whitening method that they can employ wherever they choose. However, as the popularity of at-home teeth whitening has steadily increased, so too has the number of companies seeking to capitalize on the industry’s growth and success. These companies have flooded the marketplace with over-the-counter whitening products, leaving consumers to fend for themselves when it comes to selecting an appropriate option.

Furthermore, the commercial offerings are typically “one size fits all” and fail to account for an individual’s specific dental structure or needs. No two sets of teeth are perfectly alike, and no single product can optimally suit two individuals. Commercial teeth whitening kits or trays convey only some of the benefits of customized whitening products, while presenting risks that are otherwise preventable with proper dental supervision.

At Home Teeth Whitening: Dental Supervised or Commercial?

Dentists pioneered the at home whitening process long before the mass production of commercial whitening trays. And unlike the commercial counterparts, the whitening trays produced by dentists are tailored to the specific dental needs of individual patients. Instead of mass producing a single product irrespective of an individual’s oral anatomy, a teeth whitening dentist first performs a complete oral exam to determine the type and extent of stains and to assess the individual’s teeth structure.

He or she then produces customized teeth whitening trays, molded to the patient’s precise dental specifications.The custom trays ensure the teeth whitening agent is applied directly to the affected or stained areas; in fact, the dentist may even allocate the teeth whitening gel within the tray consistent with the location and extent of prominent at home teeth whitening custom tray stains or discolorations.

custom teeth whitening tray

custom teeth whitening tray

If the desired goal is thorough and effective teeth whitening, custom trays are second to none. By replicating the patient’s unique tooth contours and overall bone structure, the custom tray provides a perfect fit. This ensures the teeth whitening gel is applied only to the intended areas, while also keeping the tray fixed firmly in place. Whereas commercial teeth whitening trays are never designed to accommodate a particular individual, custom trays always account for a patient’s singular wants and needs.

When it comes to at home teeth whitening trays, a perfect fit provides far more than comfort alone. While the precise molding certainly prevents discomfort from tray edges rubbing against the gum line, it also keeps the bleaching agent on the affected teeth and thus minimizes the risk of incidental exposure to sensitive gum tissue. A commercial whitening kit often contains between 10 and 22 percent carbamide peroxide content, which is roughly equivalent to three percent hydrogen peroxide, and can cause significant irritation if it contacts the gums.

Since the commercial trays often fit poorly, the risk of incidental exposure is significant. Because a dentist’s custom trays achieve a perfect fit, the dentist can apply a whitening agent containing hydrogen peroxide in concentrations up to 43 percent, a more than tenfold increase over the commercial offerings. As such, the custom trays simultaneously minimize the risk of incidental contact with gum tissues, while also maximizing the effectiveness of the whitening process itself.

A customized whitening tray ensures the bleaching agent is applied evenly and completely, producing a uniform result that is unmatched by commercial imitators. The molded tray is designed around the patient’s unique dental characteristics and fits snugly on each and every individual tooth. This guarantees the tray stays fixed, and the whitening gel is dispersed evenly amongst the patient’s teeth. The resultant smile is singularly sparkling, with a complete and even whitening effect.

If an individual is truly serious about getting the best results from teeth whitening, dentist supervision is an absolute necessity. A white and healthy-looking smile is aesthetically pleasing and has become increasingly important to most consumers. At home Thumbs up to dental supervised at home teeth whiteningteeth whitening offers tremendous convenience, but it also requires a discerning consumer to think carefully about the available options.

The “one size fits all” approach championed by commercial whiteners ignores the fundamental truth that all mouths (and smiles) are unique; each deserves the individualized treatment necessary for optimal results. At- home teeth whitening is ultimately most successful when conducted under the watchful eye of a knowledgeable and attentive dentist who can customize the approach to suit individual needs.

Dr. Scott Williams invites you to call Ascent Family Dental today to begin your dental supervised at home teeth whitening for a brighter smile that will get you noticed.

You may reach us at:


Ascent Family Dental
3535 W. 12th St., Ste B
Greeley, CO 80634
(970) 351-6095


Perception is Reality: Professional Teeth Whitening Dentist and the Power of a Brighter Smile

If you’re looking for an affordable, proficient and dedicated teeth whitening dentist in Greeley, Colorado, Dr. Scott Williams is the choice professional. Cosmetic procedures are more popular than ever, and the explanation is simple: most people care deeply about the way they look. People whiten their teeth for any of a multitude of reasons; perhaps they want to seem more attractive, exude self-confidence, or otherwise feel better about their overall appearance. But as recent research has demonstrated, the benefits of teeth whitening extend far beyond this simple boost to self-esteem.

Benefits of Consulting a Professional Teeth Whitening Dentist

It seems a whiter smile doesn’t merely affect an individual’s internal perception; it has a tremendous impact on the way others perceive that individual. In a recent study conducted teeth whitening professional greeleyby Crest, participants who had their teeth whitened were viewed as more successful, both professionally and financially, than the participants with stained or discolored teeth. In addition, more than half of the participants were more likely to be hired and offered a larger salary after they had their teeth whitened, and those results were consistent regardless of gender, race, income or education. Thus, the power of a whiter smile affected both perception and, consequently, reality; the participants were viewed as more successful, and in turn, they were offered more lucrative positions and potentially successful careers.

There are two main vehicles for teeth whitening, one considerably more effective than the other. The exceedingly common and less effective whitening agent is found in whitening toothpastes and comprises an abrasive material that grinds off surface stains while polishing the enamel. The second and more effective type of teeth whitening involves bleaching the teeth, which removes surface stains as well as stains and discolorations that reside deeper in the teeth.

The chemical used to bleach teeth is typically carbamide peroxide, and the concentrations of the chemical vary by product and procedure. For instance, if the bleaching is performed in-office or at-home with dentist supervision (as opposed to simply purchased over-the-counter), the concentrate is usually stronger since the dentist can control and monitor how it is applied and how it performs for the individual patient.

Over the Counter Teeth Bleaching Risks

Though bleaching is an extremely effective whitening method, there are risks to consider before electing a particular treatment. More particularly, there are certain risk factors that can be mitigated or eliminated altogether by relying on the experience and expertise of a professional teeth whitening dentist, rather than applying an over-the-counter product without dentist involvement or supervision. Unlike the custom-made trays fabricated by a dentist, over-the-counter whitening products are mass produced in uniform shapes and sizes. The commercial trays are not designed to accommodate an individual’s unique oral profile, which often results in a less than ideal fit. When that occurs, complications are far more likely to arise.

For instance, the tray’s edges may rub against the sensitive gum line, causing significant irritation. Or worse, the bleach may seep out from under the poorly fitted tray and come into direct contact with the gums, damaging them in the process. Yet even assuming the over-the-counter products produced a proper fit, consumers would still face an elevated risk of harm absent the supervision of a well-trained professional teeth whitening dentist. The individual might apply the whitening agent incorrectly or leave the bleach on the teeth for an excessive duration, causing unnecessary and potentially severe sensitivity or root damage. In sum, while teeth whitening is not without risk, the procedure is far safer and more effective when performed under the watchful and vigilant eye of an experienced teeth whitening dentist.

Greeley Teeth Whitening Dentist

As more and more research has been conducted, the benefits of teeth whitening have become abundantly clear. A whiter, healthier looking smile does more than instill self-confidence; it conveys an indelible image of professional and personal success. The simple and relatively inexpensive procedure leads to better first impressions, healthier social interactions, and ultimately, a greater degree of happiness and satisfaction. By choosing Dr. Scott Williams as your teeth whitening dentist in Greeley, you will receive individualized attention and care, obtain the best possible results, and avoid the many risks associated with unsupervised teeth whitening. Find out more by visiting or by contacting us below.


Ascent Family Dental
3535 W. 12th St., Ste B
Greeley, CO 80634
(970) 351-6095




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