Increase Your Confidence: Take Your Teeth a Shade Lighter

Yellow and stained teeth are a thing of the past—or at least they can be. Teeth whitening is one of the easiest and most commonly requested ways to quickly improve the appearance of your smile. There are several ways in which you can get your teeth to a lighter shade, and the two primary places to get the shade you’re looking for is either at-home or in the dental office. Read more below to find out which options are most effective. 


It can be hard to argue the perks of pursuing an at-home teeth whitening regimen. They are often the most cost effective options available. With their decreased cost, however, they tend to be less effective than in office whitening. Some of the most simple options are most likely the ones you have already heard of:

  • Whitening toothpaste: This special kind of toothpaste typically contains special abrasives that gently polish the teeth. It also contains chemicals, such as peroxide, that help break down and dissolve stains. Using this product can take around 6 weeks or more to see a lighter shade appear on the teeth.
  • Teeth whitening strips: This whitening method can be more effective than using a tooth whitening toothpaste, and it uses similar kinds of chemicals. It does not contain the abrasives that whitening toothpastes have, which can be better for dental health. This method requires you to wear the whitening strips twice a day for roughly two weeks for you to see your results.

When using both of these methods it is important to only use products that are endorsed by the American Dental Association and use the products as they are recommended. Whitening toothpaste and teeth whitening strips can more or less be effective ways of whitening teeth but they still pale in comparison to the products available at the disposal of your dentist.

Take-home teeth whitening kits: This method involves going to your dentist and being fitted for a teeth whitening tray that can be taken home. Your dentist will also send you with a teeth whitening gel that is often higher in concentration than anything you are able to get at the store. Your dentist will have special instructions on how to properly use this method and it can be much more effective than other take-home methods.


Professional in-office teeth whitening is the quickest and easiest way to obtain the smile of your dreams. The process itself only takes about two hours to complete and will have you leaving the dentist office with a smile that can be several shades lighter than the one you walked in with. The level of shade reached is determined by several factors. The more stained teeth are, the more difficult they are to whiten. This type of staining can come from drink, food, or lifestyle habits. Even if they are stained, whitening is still possible. The only time when whitening is not possible is when the stained areas are artificial, such as veneers, crowns or fillings. Before beginning the whitening process, your gums will be protected either with special gels or rubber dams. Professional teeth whitening typically involves the use of special, highly concentrated gels, that only dentists can use. This method gets rid of stains deeper than surface level, and does a significantly better job than methods of those that can be bought at the store. At the end of treatment, there is typically a small increase in tooth sensitivity that will subside after a few days. 

Getting your teeth whitened in the office can not only have you feeling like you’re a celebrity, it will have you looking like one too. Teeth whitening can be the most dramatic way to improve your smile in the shortest amount of time. One of the other biggest chief complaints of an imperfect smile is having un-straight teeth. Our practice also offers Invisalign® which together with our powerful teeth whitening application, will give you a smile to be proud of. At The Dentist of Siouxland, we can give you the prizewinning smile of your dreams. Schedule an appointment today for a consultation.

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Signs That a Root Canal is Needed

Each year, over 60 million Americans visit the dentist. Many of these visits can be attributed to cavities, which are small holes in your teeth that allow bacteria to get inside. But sometimes, other oral health issues occur that require additional treatments. If you experience severe tooth pain, bleeding, or swelling (other than after eating), you may need a root canal treatment. At The Dentist of Siouxland, we provide root canal treatments at each of our locations—Sioux City, IA and Elk Point, SD. Contact the location nearest you for an appointment.

Root canals are considered the best option for saving a damaged tooth when an abscess is present. Below are a few signs you may need a root canal.

Persistent Pain

Having persistent pain is one way to tell if you need a root canal. The pain might be constant, or it might go away, but it always comes back. You may feel the pain deep in the bone of your tooth, or it might be in your jaw, face or other teeth.

Tooth pain may have other causes, such as gum disease, cavities, or an impacted tooth, but it’s always a good idea to talk with your dentist if you have tooth pain.

Tooth Discoloration

An infection in the pulp of your tooth can cause your tooth to become discolored. Trauma to the tooth or the breakdown of the internal tissue can damage the roots and give the tooth a grayish-black appearance. While there might be other reasons a tooth is discolored, it could be caused for a root canal so talk with your dentist!

Sensitivity to Heat and Cold

When your teeth start to hurt from drinking a hot cup of coffee or drinking ice water, you may need a root canal. The pain can be just a dull feeling, or it can be a sharp pain that lingers for an extended period of time, even after you’ve finished eating or drinking. If your tooth hurts when you eat or drink something hot or cold, it may be an indication that the blood vessels and nerves in your tooth are infected or damaged.

Swollen Gums

Swollen gums near the painful tooth can be a sign of an issue that requires a root canal. The swelling may come and go. It may be tender when you touch it, or it may not be painful to touch.

There also might be a pimple-like abscess on your gum, which may ooze pus from the infection of the tooth. This can give you an unpleasant taste in your mouth and make your breath smell bad.

A Chipped or Cracked Tooth

If you’ve chipped or cracked your tooth in an accident, in a contact sport, or by chewing on something hard, bacteria can set in and lead to inflammation and infection. Even if your tooth didn’t crack but you did injure it, the injury can still cause damage to the nerves of the tooth. The nerve can become inflamed and cause pain and sensitivity, which may require root canal treatment.

These are just a few signs that you may need a root canal. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk with your dentist. Contact our office nearest you with any questions or to set up an appointment.

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