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Frequently Asked Questions
Is this whitening treatment for everyone? 
This treatment delivers exceptional results to people whose teeth have
been stained by smoking or by substances like coffee, tea, or cola drinks. However pregnant women, children under 14, and customers with periodontal disease are discouraged from undergoing this procedure.  Children under 18 must get parental consent and parent signature on consent form.

How white could my teeth get?
Tests show that after just one 15 minute treatment, the teeth score from 2-4 shades lighter on the teeth shade scale and are visibly whiter. Multiple sessions can make teeth up to 14 shades whiter! Individual results will depend on how discolored the teeth were originally, however the end result will be whiter, shinier teeth.  Please read HERE for some after-care questions.

Can anyone bleach their teeth so they become "snow-white"?
No. Some people are born with close to snow-white colored teeth, but most have varying shades of yellow, gray, or a combination of both. Cosmetic Teeth Whitening does produce some astounding results, and many will say, “Wow!” after their whitening procedure is completed. The vast majority of clients are extremely pleased with their results.

How long will the whitening last?
This varies from person to person and depends on your diet, but the effects should usually last six months to a year or longer. This does not mean your teeth shade will stay the same for that time frame.  It may slowly or quickly re-stain depending on your diet and your teeth.  Everyone is different.  That's why we offer follow-up treatments, which most people do every 3- 6 months. For those who want to get, keep, and maintain the brightest, whitest smile possible, we recommend a 15 minute montly treatment session after your initial treatment.  

Is it safe?
Yes, scientific studies have shown that using Peroxide to whiten teeth is both very effective and very safe. Many dentists consider this process to be the safest cosmetic dental procedure available.  This type of bleaching has been done for over twenty years, even with
stronger whitening gels than what SmileLABS™ uses, and no damage to enamel has occurred. It does not change or damage the structure of teeth; it merely makes teeth whiter and brighter. There is a significant amount of clinical data particularly in strong support of a neutral pH, peroxide-based system.

How long does treatment take?
Each session cycle takes 15-20 minutes and up to 2 or more cycles may be required for full effect. It is that simple!

What is the difference between other methods of whitening?
Our LED whitening technique whitens your teeth immediately and has no side effects. The result is 30% better than home whitening products and comparable technologies and at 1/3 the price (or less!) than having your dentist whiten your teeth.

Will it whiten my existing crowns or veneers?
Our whitening treatment cannot change the color of porcelain crowns or veneers.  Whitening will only work on natural teeth.

What will I experience during this procedure?
You may feel a slight tingling, bubbling or effervescence against your teeth for the first few minutes. This is normal and is the sign that the gel is producing the oxygen that does the work of bleaching.

Will it hurt?
Most of our customers experience no pain or sensitivity to teeth or gums after the treatment. A very small percentage of people may feel minor sensitivity in the first ten to twelve hours following the procedure. Taking an over the counter pain medication can help resolve this discomfort. Avoid cold or hot drinks for the first 24 hours if there is any tooth sensitivity. The use of a Sensodyne™-type toothpaste can often immediately eliminate any minor sensitivity issues.

Does the process cause damage to teeth enamel or nerves in teeth?
No.  Research has shown that bleaching with peroxide-based gels does not harm the enamel on peoples’ teeth. This type of bleaching has been done for over twenty years, even with stronger whitening gels than what we use, and no damage to enamel has occurred. The scientific literature also shows that neither the gel nor the light that we use will cause any nerve damage.

Can I pay with my HSA card or my Care Credit card?
Cosmetic teeth whitening is unfortunately not covered by an HSA card as it's a cosmetic treatment.  We've checked with Care Credit, and as of now, it's also not covered.  They have told us to check back every six months as they are always adding on new procedures.  Will update if or when they do.

Does the FDA regulate whitening gel?
No. Teeth whiteners are not classified as drugs, therefore the FDA does not regulate them directly. In the USA, however, they do regulate the gel manufacturer. Therefore, it's of high importance to use USA-made gels. All of our whitening gels are manufactured in the USA.
Who will be assisting me during the whitening process?
A trained, certified, and authorized Smiles Lab technician will assist you. We are not dentists or dental personnel. This is not a dental procedure nor is it a teeth cleaning; it is a cosmetic procedure. We will not be performing any invasive actions.  We guide you through the procedure.

Don’t you have to be a dentist to whiten teeth?
No, the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved the use of peroxide for over-the-counter use. We are there to guide and verbally assist during the chairside procedure and we never give dental advice and we never represent ourselves as dentists. We do recommend that our customers visit their dentist regularly and if they do not, we will advise them not to whiten their teeth until they have done so.

How long before I can eat or drink anything after completing this process?
We recommend that one should avoid eating or drinking any stain-causing foods or beverages for at least 24 hours. If you need to drink these beverages during this time, use a straw to avoid a lengthy contact time with your teeth.

I have splotchy teeth with mottled tan, brown, and white spots on them, especially the front ones. Will this processes repair this?
No, this type of staining is known as fluorosis. It was caused by the uptake into the enamel of excessive amounts of fluoride while the customer’s permanent teeth were forming between 5-12 years of age. Cosmetic Teeth Whitening will not help excessively fluorosed teeth.  White spots can also be caused by poor hygiene while having braces.  Read HERE for some after-care questions.

Do a lot of people get their teeth whitened?
Cosmetic Teeth Whitening is the second most requested treatment procedure after hair treatments in the beauty world. More people than you might imagine have their teeth whitened. A nice bright white smile can make a big difference in the way a person
feels about themselves, and can help boost confidence in almost any social setting.

How do I schedule?
1. There is no pre-consultation or exam before your appointment.  Pick the service that's right for you by using the description and the corresponding example teeth. 2. Decide if you want to add on one of the Remineralization treatments. 3. Read the fine print and schedule online.  4. Look for both the appointment confirmation email and the After-Care email.  It's that easy!  

Can you tell me more about the process and how it compares to other teeth whitening systems?

If you are someone who loves coffee, tea, colas, or wine, chances are your teeth are a little discolored.  You want to get them whiter but you don’t want to drop $600 to $800 at the dentist office.  There’s lots of over the counter products but do any of them work?

Your teeth are coated with enamel, the hardest substance in the human body.  Enamel is almost entirely made up of a mineral called Hydroxyapatite, which is a network of calcium and phosphate ions bundled into tough crystalline rods to give your teeth rigidity.  But in between those rods, there are plenty of nooks and crannies for staining agents like coffee, wines, foods, and vices we enjoy.  Regular brushing and flossing will take care of a lot of these substances on your teeth but once those stains settle in the enamel, you’re going to need something stronger. 

Most OTC strips are made with a shelf-stable peroxide called carbamide peroxide, which breaks down slower due to the stabilizers used.  Carbamide peroxide has a longer shelf life and has a lower concentration of peroxide than what’s used for chairside whitening.  Since it has a lower concentration, it is safer for home use.  Professional grade hydrogen peroxide gel is what’s used in dentist office and in chairside teeth whitening salons like Smile Labs Pdx. 

Peroxide is an excellent oxidizer, otherwise known as an electron thief.  It dives into those molecules that are discoloring your teeth and rips away electrons.  That action breaks the chemical bonds that makes up what’s called Chromophore, the part of the molecule that gives the color.  Disrupt the chromophore and guess what you get: whiter teeth!

Hydrogen peroxide works much faster with a visible spectrum blue light system because it causes it to quickly form free radicals.  This results in effective and quick teeth whitening.  Carbamide peroxide gel, on the other hand, needs more contact time with your teeth to do its job and does not react as well or as fast as hydrogen peroxide gel does with the addition of the professional LED lights.

It also takes longer to see results with over the counter (OTC) products and you have to maintain compliancy.  As with whitening toothpastes, they kind of work.  Whitening toothpastes have an extra, more abrasive compound like silica.  These abrasives only clean the surface of your teeth and don’t dig down into the enamel like peroxide does.  Some also have a substance called blue covarine.  This binds to the surface of your teeth adding a bit of blue to balance out the yellowish color.  It’s like color-correction for your teeth.  But again, it doesn’t actually whiten anything. 

And remember, your results will depend on the kind of discoloration you have.  Some teeth are dark because of developmental defects, cavities, root canals, etc, which obviously need other types of treatments from your dentist.  It also depends on how quickly you want to see results and how much money you are willing to spend.  Luckily, with Smile Labs Pdx, you can get the fastest whitest teeth without pain or messy trays and without spending a fortune.  There is a reason we are #1 in Portland!  Make your appointment online today !


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