Tooth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.
Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth. The most popular method is using a home tooth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically. We also provide our patients the option of a safe in-office tooth whitening system. Since tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth.
Tooth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up maybe needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or red wine.
Reasons for tooth whitening:
Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
Normal wear of outer tooth layer.
Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.).
Yellow, brown stained teeth.
What does tooth whitening involve?
Our in-office whitening works well for those who don't want to wear trays for two weeks. Depending on your teeth sensitivity issues, if any, we can customize your whitening formula. All bleaching (whitening) methods are likely to cause sensitivity but we can minimize sensitivity by selecting the proper whitening formula for you. The in-office experience involves two twenty minute applications for a total treatment time of 40 minutes. Expect your appointment to last one hour so that your questions can be answered and instructions can be given to you. Impressions of your teeth will be taken so that we can fabricate whitening trays (explained below) so that you can do touch-up whitening in the future.
The home method of tooth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear plastic, trays.
At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with special whitening solution either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.
You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit us regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.