Teeth Whitening for Santa Rosa & Petaluma

Before & after Sonoma Smiles teeth whitening
One of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures at Sonoma Smiles in Rohnert Park is teeth whitening. It’s often the first thing people notice about you and can play a large role in how confident you are.

Teeth whitening technology has advanced significantly in recent years and there are now many in office teeth whitening methods and products to choose from. 

Our cosmetic dentistry office in Rohnert Park has several options available to help suit the need of each individual patient. More information about each teeth whitening product, as well as some of the most frequently asked questions are below.

Why Do We Need Teeth Whitening?

Teeth Whitening is the process of getting rid of the stains on the surface of the teeth. By removing dirt and debris from the surface of the tooth, a brilliant and bright white color is restored.

Teeth naturally contain an enamel surface similar to porcelain that protects them from the effects of chewing, trauma, gnashing, and detrimental acid attacks from substances like sugar.

As the enamel wears down, it becomes more transparent and the yellow color of the tooth’s core material, called dentin, becomes increasingly more visible.

As we chew, the enamel incurs millions of micro-cracks all while protecting the dentin. Eventually, these cracks in the tooth enamel become filled with stains and food debris and the end result are teeth that have a lackluster or dulled appearance.

Using teeth whitening products help remedy these issues by removing the stains and debris. The result are brighter, whiter teeth!

A popular example of a tooth whitener is custom tray whitening or Deep Whitening, which allows you to have a brighter smile and only takes a one-time, one-hour visit to our office.

For those who prefer to whiten their teeth at home, Sonoma Smiles offers professional teeth whitening kits. These kits come with mouth trays that are custom fitted to your mouth. By filling the trays with special whitening gels and wearing them at your convenience you can increase the radiance of your smile in about two weeks.

What About Teeth Bleaching?

Tooth bleaching is the process of whitening teeth beyond their natural color.

For people who have severely stained teeth due to medications or various other reasons, this is a great way to permanently whiten your teeth.

It is also very commonly used for these types of situations. The bleaching process uses products that contain safe levels of bleach. These would be products such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide.

Types of Teeth Stains

Teeth stains & bleaching offered to Santa Rosa
The two types of teeth staining are intrinsic and extrinsic.

Extrinsic Teeth Stains

Extrinsic teeth stains are those that are caused by dark colored food and drinks. These would be items such as sodas, coffee, dark wines. Tabacco from smoking and chewing tabacco are another source of extrinsic teeth stains. These stains appear on the surface of the teeth and can typically be reduced by frequent brushing or ensuring you attend your routine dental office check ups. If extrinsic stains are not addressed in their early stages, the stains can penetrate into the dentin and become deeply ingrained.

Intrinsic Teeth Stains

Intrinsic stains form on the interior portion of the tooth. Aging, injury, and medication are all common causes of intrinsic teeth staining. With new advancements in dental technology, intrinsic stains that were once thought too resistant to bleaching can now be effectively removed. At a fraction of the cost of veneers, a deep bleaching process can brighten intrinsically discolored teeth and restore that radiant, white smile you used to have and love.

Causes of Tooth Staining


As a result of wear and tear from everyday use, teeth darken with age and stains begin to accumulate. As we get older, the lack of proper dental maintenance may lead to deep staining in the dentin which becomes difficult, but not impossible to remove.

Translucency and Thinness

These are genetic traits that vary from person to person. They become more pronounced with age and people who naturally have thinner and more translucent teeth will be more susceptible to showing yellow colors. They are also more susceptible to the luster of their teeth duller faster.


Foods that have been shown to cause significant staining after several years include certain fruits, teas, sodas, red wines, coffee, and other deeply colored beverages. Acid food that contain citrus and vinegar also play a key role in enamel erosion. The end result is the surface of your teeth becoming more transparent and a more visible yellow color appearing.


A well know and common cause of teeth discoloration is smoking. Nicotine deposits create stains that are brown in color and soak into your tooth structure. This a major cause of intrinsic discoloration.

Starting Color

At birth, we have an inborn tooth color that ranges from yellow-brownish to greenish-grey. These colors will continue to intensify as time goes on if proper dental maintenance isn’t used.


Common medications that cause teeth discoloration and staining include tetracycline and fluoride. If you think the medication you are using may be a contributing factor to your discolored teeth, be sure to consult with Dr. Sutton.


People who grind their teeth sometimes do so unknowingly. An example of this would be grinding your teeth while sleeping. This is very common and any grinding can cause micro-cracking. This in turn will cause the biting edges to darken.


Falls or any types of injury that result in cracks in the teeth will allow for large amounts of stains and debris to collect.

Teeth Whitening Options at Sonoma Smiles

As you can see, there are many causes of tooth discoloration and it is not uncommon by any means. All the factors listed above will play a part in how white your teeth will be. Sonoma Smiles can help you brighten your smile by one of our many teeth whitening options.

Some of our great options include:

  • Take Home Tray Teeth Whitening
  • Deep Whitening
  • Dr. Rod Kurthy’s Deep Bleaching

Contact us today for a smile evaluation or book your teeth whitening appointment right now!

Kor Teeth Whitening

A very specialized way to whiten teeth that are very dark
The Kor Whitening Deep Bleaching System is a specialized teeth whitening system that helps restore your teeth’s ability to absorb oxygen. The whitening gel used in this process includes oxygen which is absorbed deep into the tooth. Once absorbed it actively begins dissolving molecules that cause teeth staining. If you’re a long time coffee drinker, smoker, tobacco chewer, or red wine enthusiast you may be an excellent candidates for this system.

KoR Whitening Deep Bleaching System


In Office Teeth Whitening

The Kor system is an in-office treatment that includes custom molded trays for each individual dental patient. The powerful whitening gel has been developed such that most patients report little to no sensitivity while undergoing the whitening process. As a result, most patients experience a pain free experience and receive amazing results!

The procedure is very simple. Dr. Sutton will make your own unique, ultra-comfortable KöR Whitening Trays based on molds of your teeth. Then, you’ll come back for one more visit to our Rohnert Park dental office for the initial whitening. After that, Dr. Sutton will provide you with your custom KöR Whitening Trays that you will wear for two weeks at home while you sleep. The KöR Whitening Deep Bleaching System is completed with one final visit to Sonoma Smiles in Rohnert Park.

Santa Rosa & Petaluma Teeth Whitening


Teeth Whitening Results

The dramatic teeth whitening effect that is produced is stunning – and permanent! Often times the system will lighten teeth more than 16 shades. Every patient is different, however with the proper Kor Whitening system, we’re confident your teeth will have incredible results! Contact our dental office in Rohnert Park today to get more information on Kor Whitening Deep Bleaching System and to get stunningly white teeth!

Teeth Whitening FAQs

Can I achieve a professional result with store-bought products?

In recent years there has been a proliferation of over-the-counter whitening products. Toothpastes, whitening strips, rinses and home kits crowd the shelves of drugstores and big box outlets. This has more to do with innovations in marketing, rather than advances in whitening technology.

Like the storied marketer who figured out that a simple way to boost toothpaste sales was to widen the mouth of the tube, major brands have discovered that adding a whitening feature to products is a great way to brighten the balance sheet. Yet, the toothpaste that promises a whole new dimension in brilliance is essentially the same paste that you knew in its humbler days. Any added whitening ingredients appear in low concentrations, and are only effective at removing some surface stains, not the deeper stains that cause most discoloration.

Will the whitening process cause any discomfort?

Medical-grade whitening products use gels that contain high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Although these ingredients are completely safe for your teeth, gums and mouth, some patients experience short-term gum sensitivity and irritation. For in-office sessions, Dr. Sutton adds protective fluoride to teeth after whitening to promote remineralizing. At home, use of a toothpaste with the active ingredient potassium nitrate will reduce the chances of you experiencing sensitivity. Once your course of treatment has ended, there will be no lingering feelings of sensitivity.

Are some teeth difficult to whiten?

Some types of teeth are definitely more challenging than others when it comes to whitening, but new products and techniques have made a dazzling smile achievable for more patients than ever before. Intrinsic staining that was caused by antibiotics can be hard to lighten. This happens when a patient was prescribed significant amounts of tetracycline antibiotics at a young age, or the patient’s mother took antibiotics during pregnancy. These same deep stains can occur as a result of too much fluoride consumption as a child. Teeth that have taken on a brown or gray hue are harder to whiten than teeth with a yellow tint. In the most challenging cases, options include newer bleaching products and in-office techniques that use a special curing lamp to activate powerful teeth-whitening ingredients.

What can I do to prevent discoloration?

One way is to avoid the acidic and stain-inducing foods and beverages noted above. Sometimes the types of foods or ingredients that may stain your teeth are not readily apparent. For example, turmeric, a key ingredient in many curries, can cause staining. Sodas can promote discoloration by eroding your natural tooth enamel, revealing the darker dentin below. Beyond food choices, the most important thing you can do to maintain the brightness of your smile is to stop smoking if you currently do, and never start if you are a nonsmoker. Home care is equally important. Brush and floss regularly, and be sure to visit Dr. Sutton throughout the year for regular cleanings and polishing.

Call (707) 200-1191 Or book your consultation online to use KöR Whitening.


Sonoma Smiles

1330 Medical Center Dr #1
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 585-2555

Contact Information
Mon: 7:30am – 4pm
Tues: 7:30am – 4pm
Wed: 7:30am – 4pm
Thurs: 7:30am – 4pm
Fri: Closed