Marv Thomas, DDS

Marv Thomas, DDS is a member of many dental assocations including the American Dental Association.

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The Dental Spa

12351 Dillingham Square
Woodbridge, VA 22192
(703) 580-8288


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Posts for tag: Teeth Whitening

By The Dental Spa
August 01, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

White, translucent teeth are the hallmark of a beautiful smile. But with age or the foods we eat our teeth’s natural brightness can dim to a dingy yellow.

If this is your case, you may be able to benefit from teeth whitening techniques that brighten up your less than “pearly whites.” A teeth whitening treatment from time to time could put the dazzle back in both your smile and your self-confidence.

Here, then, are 3 reasons for considering tooth whitening to improve your smile.

You might be able to do it yourself. There are a number of home whitening options (including whitening strips) that are safe and effective to use at home. But there are a couple caveats: because your dentist can use stronger bleaching solutions they may be able to perform the procedure in less time and with longer lasting results than a home kit. Also, some forms of staining originate inside a tooth—a home kit won’t help with that kind of discoloration.

It’s safe and relatively inexpensive. Home bleaching solutions aren’t strong enough to be harmful (unless you disregard the product directions) and are usually not very costly. Your dentist uses stronger solutions but with the training and curing equipment to minimize any risk to your teeth. And compared to other cosmetic treatments, dental office teeth whitening is still a relatively inexpensive option.

Dental office whitening can be more comprehensive and precise. Another reason to opt for your dentist to whiten your teeth is the wide range of discoloration they can alleviate. They have clinical techniques for alleviating internal tooth staining, and could even combine these with treatments for external staining. Your dentist can also help you achieve the exact degree of whiteness you desire—from a more subtle, natural shade to “Hollywood Bright.”

Whitening isn’t permanent—but with a thorough application and avoiding foods and habits that contribute to staining, professional whitening effects can last up to two years. If you’re interested, see your dentist for a full dental examination for any issues that might interfere with the whitening process. From there, you’re not far from a brighter and more attractive smile.

If you would like more information on teeth whitening and other dental cosmetic enhancements, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Teeth Whitening: Brighter, Lighter, Whiter….


Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.

That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.

Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.

The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.

It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.

What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.

How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”


If you're ready to put the "pizzazz" back into your smile, your dentist may be able to help. It's possible your dull, dingy smile could be transformed with teeth whitening.

Teeth whitening or bleaching is a technique that applies a solution with a bleaching agent (usually up to 35% hydrogen peroxide in an office setting) to the teeth to whiten them. Although there are Do-It-Yourself home whitening kits you can use, there are a few good reasons why you should first consider a whitening procedure in a dental office setting.

To begin with, you should first have your teeth examined by a dentist to determine why they're discolored. Certain foods and beverages we consume or tobacco habits are the usual culprits causing stains on the enamel, the outermost tooth layer. These are the kinds of stains targeted by most whitening solutions.

But the interior of a tooth can also become discolored for reasons like trauma, past dental work or tetracycline use at an early age. If your staining is internal (intrinsic) rather than external (extrinsic) reducing that discoloration will require an invasive procedure only a dentist can perform—a home kit won't be able to do the job.

Another reason for having your teeth whitened by your dentist (even extrinsic staining) involves your time and the degree of brightness you'd like. Because dentists use stronger bleaching solutions (home kits usually use a weaker solution of 10% carbamide peroxide) it takes fewer sessions than home kits to achieve results—and they may last longer. In addition, dentists have more control over the level of brightness to match your expectations of a more subdued, natural look or a dazzling "Hollywood" smile.

A dentist can also help you navigate special circumstances like matching and managing natural teeth whiteness with dental restorations (which don't bleach) or special whitening situations like a single discolored tooth.

Even if you eventually decide to go the home kit route, consulting with a dentist first can still prove helpful. You'll get expert advice on products, tips on how to apply them and how to prolong the whitening effect. Whichever way you go, home kit or dentist, you can gain a brighter, more confident smile with teeth whitening.

If you would like more information on teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Important Teeth Whitening Questions…Answered!

By The Dental Spa
August 03, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Tooth staining is something that few of us can avoid. Our teeth yellow naturally as we age, and many lifestyle factors can affect the teeth whiteningbrightness of your smile. The good news is that for most people, it’s easy to restore your smile to a whiter shine. Teeth whitening is one of the most sought-after cosmetic dentistry treatments, due to its simplicity and its dramatic impact on your look.

Why Do Teeth Stain?

There are many reasons that teeth can become discolored, including trauma, disease, and the use of certain medications. However, the most common sources of tooth staining are:

Time. As the years go by, the enamel on your teeth becomes thinner and reveals the yellow tinge of the dentin beneath.

Food and drink. Frequent drinkers of red wine, tea, coffee, and/or cola may find that their teeth become stained more quickly.

Tobacco use. Repeated exposure to nicotine and tar can darken your teeth significantly. Heavy smokers often find that their teeth turn a shade of brown.

Poor dental hygiene. Forgetting to brush, floss, or have your teeth professionally cleaned can lead to staining. The buildup of plaque and tartar will discolor your teeth and lead to more serious conditions as well.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

First, your Woodbridge dentist will apply protective barriers to your lips and gums. Then they'll apply the bleaching agent to your teeth, usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. This peroxide-based substance breaks up the stain molecules and lifts them out of your enamel.

Teeth whitening is a low-risk procedure when performed by a dental professional. Results can last up to several years, depending on your lifestyle and dental hygiene habits.

Woodbridge Teeth Whitening

Don't let yellow teeth make you embarrassed to show off your smile. If you're looking to get rid of those unsightly stains and freshen up your look, a whitening treatment could be just what you need. For teeth whitening in Woodbridge, VA, call your dentist at Dental Spa.

By The Dental Spa
May 11, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

Find out how those with teeth sensitivity can still get a whiter smile.

With summer coming up all thoughts have turned to boost our appearance. While some people have been hitting the gym for that bikini body, Teeth Whiteningsome people are lightening their hair to welcoming in the sunny weather; however, it’s also a great time to get a brighter smile. Your Woodbridge, VA dentist is happy to get smiles significantly whiter in just one session. But if you deal with tooth sensitivity, then you may be worried about whether this treatment is for you. Find out more about what we do to make your session pain-free and easy.

How is Professional Teeth Whitening Performed?

When you come in for teeth whitening expect to be at our office for about an hour. The treatment itself takes about 45 minutes to complete. We will use a cheek retractor to make your teeth more visible. Then we will paint the bleaching agent over your teeth and use a laser to activate the gel. After about 15 minutes, we will remove the gel, apply a fresh layer and then reactivate. Most whitening sessions go through two or three different applications depending on the results you are hoping to achieve.

Does Teeth Whitening Actually Hurt?

If you’ve ever heard about teeth whitening hurting then chances are you have heard about people experiencing teeth sensitivity during their treatment. While this can happen during your treatment, it’s less likely if you let your Woodbridge, VA dentist about any sensitivities you might have. If you have particularly sensitive teeth then talk to us about things you can do prior to your whitening session so you don’t experience discomfort.

If we are aware of your sensitivity then we can easily tailor the strength and duration of your treatment to accommodate your sensitive smile. Plus, we will also be there to monitor your treatment the entire time to change the intensity if you notice any problems. This is something you wouldn’t be able to do as successfully with at-home whitening products.

If you are interested in getting a brighter smile before summer hits, then it’s time to see your Woodbridge dentist at The Dental Spa. Get pearly whites to be proud of.

Questions or Comments?
We encourage you to contact us whenever you have an interest or concern about our services.

Phone (703) 580-8288