Teeth whiteningThe desire for a brighter smile with whiter teeth is very strong, and tooth bleaching safely lightens the color of the teeth, lasting for up to five years. The most effective and safest method of tooth bleaching is dentist-supervised.
Generally, bleaching is successful in at least 90 percent of patients, though it may not be an option for everyone. Consider tooth bleaching if your teeth are darkened from age, coffee, tea or smoking. Teeth darkened with the color of yellow, brown or orange respond better to bleaching. Gray stains caused by fluorosis, smoking or tetracycline use can be lightened, but results are not as dramatic. If you have very sensitive teeth, periodontal (gum) disease or teeth with worn enamel, your dentist may discourage whitening.
What's Involved?First, we will determine whether you are a candidate for tooth bleaching and what type of bleaching system would provide the best results.
In-office Laser bleachingIf you're in a hurry for whiter teeth, you may decide to have your teeth whitened immediately. We will use either an in-office bleaching system or laser bleaching while you sit in the dental chair. Zoom laser treatment is usually done in one hour, and you will see immediate results.
At-Home bleachingSome patients choose dentist-supervised at-home bleaching, which is more economical and provides similar results. If you don't choose laser bleaching, we will make impressions of your teeth to create a bleaching tray that is a mouthguard like appliance. The bleaching tray is custom-made for your mouth and is lightweight so that it can be worn comfortably while you are awake or sleeping. The bleaching tray is so thin that you should even be able to talk and work while wearing it. Along with the bleaching tray, you'll receive the bleaching materials. You'll be given instructions on how to wear the tray.
Our bleaching systems recommend bleaching your teeth for 30 minutes a day for two to four weeks.
Over-the-counter bleachingOver-the-counter bleaching systems are also available and are generally safe and effective, although it is best to check with us before using these products. These systems, which come in the form of strips and gels, usually contain a lower strength of bleaching agent than products used in the dentist's office. For this reason, they must be used longer to achieve a desired effect, but they are also cheaper.
How it Works and SafetyLightness should last from one to five years, depending on your personal habits such as smoking and drinking coffee and tea. At this point you may choose to get a touch-up. The retreatment time is much shorter than the original treatment time.
The active ingredient in most of whitening agents is carbamide peroxide; when water comes into contact with this white crystal, the release of hydrogen peroxide lightens the teeth.
Several studies have proven bleaching to be safe and effective. The American Dental Association has granted its seal of approval to some tooth bleaching products. Some patients may experience slight gum irritation or tooth sensitivity, which will resolve when the treatment ends.