Feeling self-conscious about your smile can affect your confidence, relationships, and work performance. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 96 percent of adults think a nice smile makes you more attractive, and 74 percent believe that your career can suffer because of an unattractive smile. Professional teeth whitening is one of the quickest, most cost-effective ways to enhance your smile. Dr. Rafael Mercado of Castle Hills Family Dental offers both in-office treatments and convenient take-home whitening kits. We offer several other cosmetic dentistry procedures at our Castle Hills, TX, office to help you achieve even more dramatic, transformative results.

Professional vs. Over-the-Counter Whitening

One of the most powerful agents found in whitening products is hydrogen peroxide. While over-the-counter whitening products feature about three percent hydrogen peroxide and require a longer treatment timeline, Dr. Mercado’s in-office treatments contain more than 35 percent. This produces more predictable, noticeable results in a shorter amount of time. Over-the-counter strips and other methods can also apply the gel unevenly, producing unsatisfactory results.

Professional whitening produces more predictable, noticeable results in a shorter amount of time.

It is important to understand that whitening cannot typically treat stains caused by medications or darkening due to trauma. In this case, you may be a better candidate for porcelain veneers or dental crowns.

In-Office Treatment

Prior to administering your treatment, we will use the pola shade guide to asses your enamel and establish your desired shade. This scale allows us to monitor the effectiveness of your treatment.

Dr. Mercado will begin by applying the formula to your teeth. Unlike other whitening treatments, pola is highly effective on its own and does not require a UV light to expedite the bleaching process. The gel features a safe, neutral pH to protect your teeth and minimize sensitivity. For added comfort, we will apply a barrier to protect your gums during the procedure. Most patients are able to achieve a noticeably whiter smile in just one 30-minute session.

Whitening at Home

Based on your budget, schedule, and desired outcome, you may prefer take-home whitening. Dr. Mercado offers two options for patients: poladay and polanight. Both kits include custom whitening trays for a secure, effective, and comfortable fit.

At-home whitening kits are easy to use and the trays can be worn during the day or night.


Patients who prefer to wear their trays for small increments of time are good candidates for poladay. After injecting the whitening solution, you will place the aligners over your teeth. These trays are worn for 30 minutes at a time and the solution is available in varying strengths.


If you prefer to whiten your smile while you sleep, polanight may be a better fit. This solution can also be customized for varying levels of concern.

Under the guidance of Dr. Mercado, all our whitening treatments are safe, convenient, and effective. To maintain your results between touch-up appointments, we recommend that you commit to a proper oral hygiene routine and minimize color-rich foods and drinks, such as coffee, red wine, and pasta sauce.

Boost Your Confidence in Your Appearance

If you are unhappy with the color of your smile, teeth whitening can help you achieve striking results in one half-hour appointment. To determine which treatment is right for you, Dr. Mercado can discuss your options during an initial consultation. Call us today at 210-732-4570 or reach the practice using our online contact form.