Its hard to overstate the impact of a beautiful, bright smile.

According to a survey from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, a full 99.7 percent of Americans believe that their smile is an important social asset, 96 percent believe that smiles play an important role in their attractiveness and more than three quarters believe that the quality of their smile impacts their career success.

In short, theres nothing like a beaming smile to boost your personal, romantic and professional confidence. Let Dr. Newkirk and the skilled team at Island Family Dental guide you through our top-quality teeth whitening services in Southwest Washington and pick the option thats best for you.

Why do teeth get stained?

There are two types of tooth stains: extrinsic, which discolors the surface of a tooths enamel, and intrinsic, which discolors the dentin under the tooths enamel.

Of the two types, extrinsic is the most common. It usually stems from smoking or from the consumption of certain foods and drinks. Red wine and soda are common culprits, as are foods like berries and tomato sauce. Tea and coffee are a particularly frequent causes because they contain organic compounds called tannins, which cling to enamel and cause stains. To avoid extrinsic tooth stains altogether, its best to limit your consumption of these products, or consistently wash out your mouth and brush your teeth immediately after consuming them.

Intrinsic tooth stains usually occur when the teeth undergo some kind of trauma or disease that results in the thinning of your enamel, exposing the yellow or brown dentin below that acts as a protective layer between the enamel and the root. Some kinds of medications, including chemotherapy and pills that treat high blood pressure, can also cause intrinsic tooth staining. The thinning of enamel can also occur with age.

What kinds of whitening treatments can a dentist offer?

Traditional professional whitening methods work best on extrinsic tooth stains. Dentists essentially polish away the discoloration on the surface of the tooth using specific, safe whitening solutions and meticulous cleaning methods. Most dentists use hydrogen peroxide compounds. Some also incorporate a laser treatment to increase the effectiveness of the whitening solution.

For intrinsic stains, your best choice will likely be porcelain veneers or dental implant options. Additionally, while tooth whitening is very effective on natural teeth, it doesnt work on existing crowns, implants, or false teeth.

In a nutshell, your options abound and will be impacted by all kinds of factors. Its best to work with a professional in order to find the right teeth whitening service that will lift your existing stains and achieve your smile goals. To figure out which treatment plan is best for you, book an appointment with the experienced Island Dental professionals at the Newkirk dental office.

How much does professional teeth whitening cost?

The cost of a professional teeth whitening service can vary widely depending on a combination of factors. The method you use, the number of visits the process requires and the severity of the stains can all impact the price tag. During your dental visit, ask your dental professional what options for teeth whitening they provide and the cost. 

How effective is at-home teeth whitening? 

At-home teeth whitening treatments may have mixed results. While they usually cost less, you may not get the full, smile-transforming impact that a professional tooth whitening session can offer. Some options can offer minor benefits — others may be gimmicks that havent been shown to lift stains at all. Additionally, some of the take-home treatments can include harsh chemicals or intense abrasives that scrub away at the surface of your teeth, both of which can cause tooth sensitivity or pain, especially when deployed by someone without any dental training.

If you do decide to go with an at-home treatment, its best to start right after a professional dental cleaning. The active ingredients in the whitening solution will work best when exposed to the enamels clean, fresh surface directly.

Island Dental has a long-standing reputation for offering a wide range of high-quality cosmetic, routine, and emergency dental services, including implants, teeth whitening, and veneers. Do you feel ready to start the next chapter of your life? Give yourself the priceless gift of confidence and upgrade your beautiful smile. For more information, call our office at (360) 718-8861, send an email to, or swing by our office, located at 16335 NE 23rd Street Vancouver, WA 98684. We would love to say “Hi”.

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