Galleria Dental Aesthetics in McLean VA

Teeth Whitening
in McLean VA

An image of Dr. Chong Lee with one of his staff. Dr. lee is standing behind his staf memeber who is sitting in a chair. The backdrop is

If you want a dazzling white smile, the cosmetic dentists at Galleria Dental Aesthetics–serving McLean and Arlington, Virginia–can provide it. Stained & discolored teeth can affect your confidence and make you want to hide your smile. You, too, can have the brilliant, beautiful smile you see on your favorite celebrities with Arlington teeth whitening services.

What is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening sometimes referred to as tooth bleaching, is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make a considerable difference in your smile. From whitening toothpaste to professional teeth whitening treatments, having a white smile is now within virtually everyone’s reach. At Galleria Dental Aesthetics, we understand that many of our discerning patients desire immediate results, and we are dedicated to meeting those needs in our Tysons Corner and Arlington locations.

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What Causes Tooth Discoloration?

There are many factors that may cause tooth discoloration. Such factors include:

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Damage to the teeth
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Antibiotic (tetracycline)

Over time, these stains may darken. Teeth whitening is one of the most common and effective cosmetic dental procedures performed today. Teeth whitening by the experienced cosmetic dentists at Galleria Dental Aesthetics using ZOOM! technology can get your teeth whiter than they have been in years.

What are my options for teeth whitening?

An At-home Teeth Whitening kit on a white table.At Galleria Dental Aesthetics, our cosmetic dentists in Northern Virginia can perform teeth whitening in our offices or provide you with take-home whitening trays. The whitening trays are custom made to fit the curves of your smile. A special whitening gel is used in the trays which are typically worn during the evening hours.


ZOOM! teeth whitening is a state-of-the-art teeth whitening system that takes about 45 minutes to perform. Three 15-minute sessions during one visit can dramatically whiten your teeth by several shades.

Once we have cleaned your teeth, ZOOM! gel is applied. The active ingredient in the gel is hydrogen peroxide. A special light is directed at your teeth to help the gel break down the stains on your teeth. In about one hour, your teeth will be several shades lighter than if you only used toothpaste with whitening or over-the-counter whitening strips.


In addition to ZOOM!, we also offer custom take-home whitening trays and gel. You can then whiten your teeth at your own pace in the privacy of your own home. The take-home trays, while also very effective, may take up to two weeks to produce the desired results.

blue-boxA happy patient that underwent a Teeth Whitening procedure in McLean, VA

What is the difference between in-office teeth whitening and at-home teeth whitening?

Professional in-office whitening treatments, such as the ZOOM! teeth whitening technology used in our offices can significantly whiten your teeth in just one office visit. These types of systems use a higher concentration of whitening agent or bleach combined with a special light to increase the effectiveness of the whitening system. Because the entire process is monitored by a dental professional, the whitening results are even across the entire tooth surface as well as in between the teeth.

In contrast, over-the-counter methods typically take several weeks to achieve a level of whitening that may or may not reach your desired brightness. Inconsistent whitening over the tooth surface is probable because the strips are not molded to fit the nooks and crannies of your smile. Mouth saliva can interfere with the whitening process, and some products can cause the tooth enamel to become dry.

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How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

Because tooth enamel is porous, natural teeth will always be susceptible to staining substances. Likewise, the eventual thinning of tooth enamel as you age can continue to cause tooth discoloration. It is for these reasons that tooth whitening is not a permanent cosmetic dental procedure. Depending on your personal habits and genetics, touch-up whitening treatments will most likely need to be performed in the future.

Side effects of teeth whitening

The main side effect of teeth whitening is tooth or gum sensitivity, although not every patient will have this experience. Genetics, the concentration of the whitening agent or bleach, and the reaction of the whitening agent on the tooth enamel all play a part in how susceptible a patient may be to teeth whitening sensitivity. Desensitizing agents can minimize this potential side effect. A thorough dental examination by our trained team of professionals can help to identify some potential trouble areas so preventative measures can be taken to eliminate possible tooth and/or gum sensitivity.

Post-Operative Instructions

Is teeth whitening painful?

A beautiful woman whois experiencing tooth pain from Teeth WhiteningEarly in the teeth whitening trend, patients were likely to experience temporary tooth sensitivity and “zingers” of pain while their treatment was ongoing. We’ve come a long way since then. Today, we’ve got ideal concentrations of peroxide whitening agents to lift stains. Desensitizing solutions can also be applied to decrease the mild sensitivity that may occur. If you already have sensitive teeth, talk with your dentist about how we may help you undergo teeth whitening comfortably.

How long does teeth whitening take?

We offer in-office and home whitening options to meet each patient’s needs. How long whitening takes first depends on which system you choose. In-office whitening takes about an hour. This method typically achieves dramatic results in just one visit. However, in instances of severe staining, patients may undergo in-office whitening as a starting point before moving on to whiten at home. Home whitening is conducted daily for a period of up to two weeks, depending on the extent of whitening a person desires. When home whitening is selected, it is important to commit to consistent daily use so as not to prolong the bleaching process.

Will teeth whitening cause damage

Teeth whitening works by permeating the upper layer of enamel with a peroxide agent. When conducted as directed, this process is safe and effective. Professional teeth whitening is overseen by your dentist and is performed only after a thorough dental examination. Patients are advised on the safe frequency of teeth whitening based on their dental structure and oral health. Typically, retreatment can occur once or twice a year to maintain a radiant smile.

How to prepare for zoom teeth whitening

Male Dentist speaking to female patient who is sitting in a dental chair.There is very little that needs to be done before undergoing in-office teeth whitening treatment. After a thorough consultation and dental exam, we may recommend a professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar that may be present. If other dental problems are detected during the exam, they will need to be treated before moving on to cosmetic procedures.

Because teeth whitening does not change the shade of restorations like bonding, veneers, and crowns, some patients choose to have these fixtures changed as a part of their smile makeover with teeth whitening.

Patients who have sensitive teeth or are concerned about sensitivity due to teeth whitening may want to start brushing with a special toothpaste a week or so before treatment.

Types of surface stains

Teeth whitening treatment is intended for the removal of surface stains. These are the kind of stains that develop within the outer layer of enamel. Typically, external stains result from foods and beverages that deposit tiny molecules into the tubules of enamel. In such instances, professional teeth whitening is very effective.

There is another type of tooth stain that is referred to as an intrinsic stain. This kind of staining occurs on the inside of a tooth. It may be the result of injury to the tooth or of medication use. Because intrinsic stains do not lie in the outer layer of enamel, they are not likely to respond to teeth whitening. These stains can be successfully covered with a porcelain veneer.

Am I a candidate for teeth whitening?

A happy mature woman sitting in a dental chair after getting a teeth whitening procedure with a thumb up.Many teens and adults are excellent candidates for teeth whitening treatment. If your oral health is good and you wish to have a brighter smile, contact our office. We are happy to schedule your consultation and exam, after which we can discuss the method of teeth whitening that may best suit your needs.

Schedule Your Teeth Whitening Consultation Today!

If you lack self-confidence due to staining on your teeth, contact the dentists at Galleria Dental Aesthetics in Tysons Corner for an initial tooth whitening appointment. You can call the office at (703) 448-1020. We serve the areas of McLean, Arlington, Tysons, and surrounding areas in northern Virginia.

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