Monthly Archives: January 2016

Two of the Best Ways to Whiten Your Teeth

teeth whitening

Some people are just born with much more yellowish teeth compared to others. That’s a fact. It’s also a known fact that our teeth also become yellow as we age. Though, there are also other factors affecting the color of our teeth, such as:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco.
  • Drinking certain beverages such as red wine, tea, coffee and others.
  • Eating cherries, blueberries and other highly pigmented types of food.
  • The hardening of plaque resulting from the lack of proper oral hygiene.

Whitening Your Teeth

Frequent dental cleanings can easily remove most of the stains caused by certain food, drinks and tobacco. Using a whitening toothpaste can also help remove such stains in between visits to the dentists. Though, if your stains have been present for years, simply cleaning and brushing just won’t cut it.

Stubborn stains will have to be removed either by bleaching, bonding or capping. All of these methods are considered by dental care experts as very safe and effective. However, it’s usually up to your dentist to determine which type of treatment is based on both the results you want to achieve and the current state of your teeth.

How Teeth Whitening Works

Bleaching requires the use of tooth-bleaching gels to oxidize out the stain and can be done either by the dentist or at home.

A common side effect during the process is for teeth to become slightly more sensitive than usual.

  • At-home whitening. This is usually the preferred method by many people since it’s much more convenient. This is done by letting your dentist take an impression of your teeth and making a custom-fitted tray. You’ll then have to fill the tray with whitening gel and wear it for two hours a day for as long as two weeks. If done correctly, at-home whitening can be a very effective teeth whitening solution.
  • In-office whitening. This type of procedure is done in the dentist’s office. Each visit takes somewhere around 30 minutes to one hour and multiple visits are usually required to achieve the desired results.

Of the two, in-office whitening is considered the most effective solution, but it’s also much more expensive.

Tooth Bonding

Bonding is another dental procedure that relies on the use of composite resins and porcelain/composite veneers to cover the surface of stained teeth. This procedure can help not just in whitening teeth, but also giving broken and misshapen teeth a better appearance.

There are generally two types of bonding techniques:

  • Composite bonding. In this procedure, the front teeth are usually reduced so that once the composite resin is bonded or fitted, the teeth will not look too bulky. The composite resin is carefully matched with the color and shape of the surrounding teeth, so you don’t have to worry about them standing out.
  • Veneer bonding. The process is generally the same with veneer bonding, but with minor differences. Though, the biggest difference between the two is that porcelain veneers are considered to be much more durable and may last for as long as 10 years.

Taking Care of Your Newly Whitened Teeth

Whether it’s been whitened in the office, or at home, or if you’ve had veneers or bonds, your teeth can and will stain over time. The best way to prevent that from happening is to avoid smoking, heavily colored foods and generally, practicing good oral hygiene, including frequent trips to the dentist.


In-Office and Home Teeth Whitening

teeth cleaning

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. This is why it’s important that you invest in them to make sure that they always leave a good, lasting impression.

Chances are, though, that your pearly whites aren’t exactly as white as you’d like them. This may have caused you to become conscious about them and as a result, your self-esteem has suffered because of this.

Now, while white teeth aren’t the only ingredients of a bright and radiant smile, they are one of the most important, which is exactly why you should take the time to learn about teeth whitening treatments.

Teeth Whitening Treatments

Generally, there are two types of teeth whitening treatments – home tooth whitening systems and in-office teeth whitening.

The former is widely considered as more popular because there are plenty of available tooth whitening systems out there that are easy to use and very cheap.

Even without the prescription or the supervision of a dentist, anyone can use over-the-counter teeth whitening products. The most common are paint-on tooth gel, mouth trays, whitening gum and toothpaste, as well as whitening strips.

Safety is very rarely an issue with these products as well, but if you’re having reservations, you can ask your dentist first.

In-office teeth whitening

Less popular compared to home tooth whitening systems, in-office teeth whitening is the preferred whitening method by most dental professionals. This is because these types of treatment are just much more effective and safer too.

Generally falling under the category of cosmetic dentistry, it’s important that you find a certified and experienced cosmetic dentist before you undergo such a treatment. Otherwise, you may just end up wasting your money.

Once you’ve found the right cosmetic dentist, the fun starts.

There are various ways dentists can professionally whiten your teeth, but what’s widely accepted as the most effective is the use of a buffer in the gel, which protects the tooth enamel from any kind of damage. The use of such a gel makes the procedure not only safe, but also very effective and has been known to transform teeth many shades lighter in just a single visit.

As effective as in-office teeth whitening treatments are, it does have its limits.

This type of treatment can only affect the front teeth, usually the eight that are most evident when you smile. But, still, eight much whiter teeth are still better than none at all and is a great way to jump start your whole teeth whitening program, something that you can or, rather, should continue at home.

Have a brighter smile today

While it is impossible for you to have a totally brighter smile immediately, you can at least rejoice in the fact that it will happen, so long as you work at it.

With your cosmetic dentist’s help and proper oral care, as well as the use of dentist recommended home whitening products, not only will you have whiter and better-looking teeth, but they’ll also be much healthier too.

Learn more about teeth whitening today by calling George Kirtley D.D.S. at 317-841-1111. Learn more about Dr. Kirtley by visiting his website at


Why Cosmetic Dentists Are Different From Your Average Dentist

close up smile red lipstick

When people hear the word “cosmetic dentists”, most would say that they’re no different from your average dentist or that they mainly dabble and are only interested in the aesthetics of their patient’s smile. Either way, it’s usually one of the two.

Of the two, neither is totally correct. Yes, cosmetic dentists are concerned about the beauty of their patient’s smiles, but they do also treat the same dental problems that your average dentist does.

What makes them different, in particular, is just how they pay attention to the maintenance and improvement of the natural beauty of the smile of their patients.

Take metal composite fillings, for example. The average dentist will usually recommend this particular dental restoration method because it’s been around for centuries already. However, most cosmetic dentists disagree with this.

While gold crowns and dental fillings are quite effective, they’re not particularly safe. Criticism about them containing traces of mercury aside, metal composite fillings tend to expand and contract over time, causing unnecessary damage to the teeth. And, of course, they don’t exactly look all that good.

For cosmetic dentists, porcelain is their material of choice when it comes to repairing any type of damage to their patient’s teeth because they’re malleable, easy to use, safe and most important of all, aesthetically pleasing.

The Key Difference

Cosmetic dentists also treat many of the same dental issues that general dentists deal with, such as:

  • Chipped or damaged teeth.
  • Misaligned bites.
  • Missing and/or decaying teeth.

However, the key difference here is that cosmetic dentists prefer methods that focus on both treating the problem, while at the same time, addressing the aesthetical aspect.

The keyword here is aesthetics.

Cosmetic dentists, unlike general dentists, make it their job to protect both the structural integrity and aesthetics of their patient’s smile. And, while elective, there are many cases where the treatments offered by cosmetic dentists provide much better restorative benefits compared to conventional methods, such as:

The Different Benefits Offered By Cosmetic Dentists

  • Correction of any physical flaws. The procedures preferred by cosmetic dentists can help conceal, as well as correct plenty of dental problems, from misshapen teeth, chips, cracks, unsightly gaps and stains, and so on.


  • Improved self-esteem. You yourself would probably agree that the one thing that’s stopping you from smiling more often is that your teeth aren’t exactly something that you’re proud of. Well, cosmetic dentists can help fix that for you so that you can smile away all you want and be prouder of the way you look. This, in turn, can help give your self-esteem a much needed boost.


  • Prevention of damages in the future. While most of the procedures are designed to help make teeth look beautiful, they can also affect it positively in other ways. For example, porcelain bonding can help improve the structural integrity of the teeth. Also, cosmetic dentists can cover up hairline fractures or worn edges to not only improve their appearance, but also to prevent further damage to these problem areas.



If you’re interested in taking your oral care a bit further and focus on improving your smile, be sure to schedule an appointment with George Kirtley DDS at 371-841-1111 today to see how he can transform your smile! To learn more visit our website at

Dr. George Kirtley welcomes patients from Spring Hill, Beech Grove and Warren Park.