Teeth 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 teeth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically. Since teeth 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.
Teeth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up may be needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.
Reasons for teeth 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 teeth whitening involve?
This type of teeth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom fitted clear plastic trays which hold bleaching gel around the teeth.
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 gel either twice a day for 30 minutes. It is not uncommon to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching. We use several versions of bleaching gels including one specifically made to reduce tooth sensitivity.
Bleaching cases involving very dark teeth are especially suited for trays and gel. When nearly instant results are necessary, using a ZOOM light can help.
You will receive care instructions for your teeth during the tray delivery appointment.