Dr. Norma Cortez and Dr. Alexander Hicks provide professional teeth whitening to improve your smile. Here at Cape Fear Smiles we offer laser teeth whitening, which decreases sensitivity following treatment as well as giving you a more beautiful smile. To schedule an appointment with our holistic dentists and learn more about integrative dentistry and teeth whitening in Wilmington, North Carolina, call Cape Fear Smiles today at 910-763-0931.

Why brighten your teeth?

  • Bright teeth look great, and the only way to get them their whitest is with professionally supervised bleaching from a dentist.
  • Whitening your teeth is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to dramatically change your smile.
  • We offer at-home whitening and will make you customized trays and provide you with all the supplies and instructions to complete the whitening process in the privacy of your own home. The procedure is safe and effective with dramatic results in only days or weeks.


All About Teeth Whitening (Bleaching)

Should I bleach my teeth?

  • Many patients want to remove stains caused by coffee, tea or smoking or lighten teeth that have darkened with age.
  • Around 90% of patients who whiten their teeth are successful.
  • Most people feel that whiter teeth appear more youthful.

Is bleaching teeth safe?

  • Yes, although some people report sensitive gums and teeth.
  • The sensitivity is a normal side effect, is not harmful and will subside a few days after treatment is stopped.
  • The active ingredient in most whitening agents is carbamide peroxide and this is converted to hydrogen peroxide which lightens the teeth.

Can I have my teeth whitened at the dental office?

  • Yes, in-office bleaching usually takes between 30 to 90 minutes to complete and might require a few visits.
  • Our dentists will use an in-office bleach system.
  • In-office whitening is usually more expensive than at-home whitening.

What is at-home whitening?

  • The dentists will take an impression of your teeth and then make custom mouthpieces (trays) to fit your teeth.
  • The dentists will give you a supply of bleaching gel.
  • The gel is applied to the tray and tray is worn anywhere from 30 minutes up to several hours—the time spent wearing the tray depends on the strength of the whitening gel you are using.
  • Care should be taken to use only the prescribed amount of gel, as excess material can contact your gums and cause irritation.
  • At-home bleaching typically requires a few weeks to complete.

What about over-the-counter bleaching systems?

  • These systems are usually safe and cost-effective.
  • The concentrations of the bleaching agents are usually not very strong, so it takes longer to get results.

How long does bleaching last?

  • Bleaching typically lasts from 1 to 5 years, depending on oral hygiene and personal habits that can stain the teeth (coffee, tea, smoking, etc.).
  • A “touch up” is recommended and will often only require getting more bleaching gel from the dental office, assuming the trays still fit the teeth.

Final Thoughts

  • Results vary, and each person is different.
  • Yellow, orange and brown stains respond better to bleaching.
  • Teeth with gray stains caused by tetracycline, fluorosis or smoking can be lightened, but the results can vary.
  • Veneers should be considered for teeth with severe tetracycline or fluorosis staining.
  • Any tooth restorations, such as composite fillings (bonding), porcelain veneers or crowns will not change shades.

To learn more about teeth whitening or to schedule an appointment with our dentists and team, call our office today.

Our Success Stories


Looking for a new dentist in Wilmington, North Carolina? Read our testimonials to learn about the care we provide!

Logo watermark