is tooth whitening?
often be whitened by the several new techniques of
"bleaching" available today. The most common methods
used are the "in-office" method where a strong
bleaching agent is placed over the isolated teeth and a special
light is used to assist the bleaching material lighten the
teeth. This method is generally more controlled and probably
better for people who have tetracycline stains or streaks on
their teeth. The "home" techniques involve making
trays which fit into the mouth and these are then filled with
bleaching materials. When worn for a few hours a day, noticeable
results are seen generally within a few days to a couple weeks.
Results vary from individual to individual and it is probably
best to check with your dentist to help decide which method
works best for you. Some of the factors involved include the
intensity of the stains, whether or not you have fillings or
crowns on your front teeth as well as what may have caused the
What causes staining of teeth?
The most common
include aging, consumption of staining substances (coffee, tea, colas,
tobacco, blueberries etc.), and old fillings in the teeth. During tooth
formation , consumption of the antibiotic tetracycline or excessive
fluoride may also cause tooth discoloration.
Who may benefit from tooth whitening?
everyone with healthy teeth will benefit. There is virtually no downside
to whitening and lots of upside. As long as you do not have any fillings
or crowns on front teeth, you will benefit from tooth whitening by having
a whiter younger smile.
These are teeth that were stained from smoking.
the process safe?
Whitening is gentle and
safe when supervised by your dentist. In fact, dentist-supervised whitening has
been done for nearly a century, but has increased in popularity in recent years
as yellowed teeth are becoming less and less acceptable, both socially and
professionally. Procedures have been simplified and shown to be safe.Reports that
claim that the bleaching gel will destroy your enamel are not true. The
bleaching process causes no long term harmful effects to your teeth or
long does it take?
With in-office bleaching the results are instantaneous but for
maximum whitening, two sessions are required. With tray bleaching most
people will notice a change in the color of their teeth the first night
they bleach. Tray bleaching takes about 7-10 days to complete. For the
fastest and longest lasting results, we recommend a combination of
in-office and home whitening.
there any side effects?
Some people may experience a
transient sensitivity to cold while bleaching. This disappears soon after
the treatment is finished. However you can decrease the frequency of
wearing the trays to cut down or eliminate the symptoms. Your dentist may
also choose to prescribe a fluoride gel that you wear in the trays for
extreme sensitivity. It is important to note that all symptoms are
temporary while you are bleaching. There are no long term harmful effects
These are some teeth that were genetically stained.
long do the results last?
Teeth will stay bleached
permanently. However depending on your habits, you may need a touch up
treatment once every 6 months. If you smoke, drink tea, coffee, or
red wine, your teeth will stain faster therefore requiring more frequent
You can help your teeth remain white by brushing twice a
day, cleaning between the teeth daily with floss or
interdental cleaners, seeing your dentist for regular
professional cleanings along with occasional touch-up
are the different methods available for whitening teeth?
The two main methods for
bleaching are In-office bleaching and a tray system.
With in office bleaching, a special light is used to heat the bleaching gel to start the
whitening process. The light can be either a laser or a plasma arc curing
light. The basic idea is to heat the bleach to make the whitening reaction
With tray bleaching, custom fitting trays are made for your
teeth in which a bleaching gel is worn for a period of 7 to 10 days.
Although slower, the results achieved are usually superior than in office
treatment. We usually do a combination of in-office and tray bleaching for
the best results.
How did my teeth
get so yellow?
Over the years, like
almost everyone, you've experienced a natural buildup of organic pigments on
your teeth. Colorized proteins from coffee, tea, and other foods have simply
darkened the natural whiteness of your teeth. The use of tobacco, antibiotics,
and certain minerals usually speeds the darkening process. But, yellowing can be
difference between dentist-supervised and over-the counter treatments?
There are many differences, starting with the fact that your teeth and your own
dental situation are absolutely unique. Which is why the safety of your
treatment requires a dentist's evaluation and supervision. You'll also find that
custom trays designed by the dentist will fit better and will consequently expel
far less bleaching gel than the unsupervised, over-the-counter,
one-size-fits-all treatment alternatives.
What about those
over the counter products?
"boil-and-bite" trays used by the over-the-counter products overlap
soft tissue producing more irritation. They also feel bulky in your mouth. This
results in discomfort and possible TMJ problems.
Who can use tooth
dentist-designed tray is less bulky.
- It conforms more
closely to the natural contours of the teeth, is far more comfortable, and
assures a superior result.
- You'll find a
significant difference in both the comfort and safety of dentist-designed
trays vs. unsupervised over-the-counter, one-size-fits-all, "boil
& bite" trays.
Nearly anyone ages nine
to 90. If you want to obtain a more confident smile by improving the whiteness
of your teeth, talk to us.
What if I have more
Just ask your dentist.
We'll be happy to refer you to a dentist in your area who is experienced with
How does whitening
Your dentist will first
check your teeth and gums to be sure that you begin the treatment in good dental
health. Then your dentist will take an impression of your teeth in order to
provide you with a custom fit plastic tray designed to hold the bleaching gel
next to your teeth. Following the bleaching program your dentist suggests,
you'll notice the results quickly, as the gentle oxygenating action of the gel
begins to whiten your teeth. Your dentist may choose to begin with a short
in-office bleaching session.
Is there any
There is little, if any.
Some patients might feel an increased sensitivity to cold, heat, or pressure
during the whitening process, but this sensitivity ends a day or two after the
treatment is completed. Any note of persistent discomfort should be reported to
Will the whitening
damage my teeth?
Not at all. The whitening
process will not affect your enamel, tooth structure, bonding or restorations.
Whitening acts only on the molecules that carry the discoloration.
How long will it
Non-smokers who don't
drink coffee or tea often see little or no change over five years. But your own
long-term results will depend on your habits and the specific foods you eat.
Based on those variables, some patients may require a "touch-up"
treatment at regular intervals.
- For sensitive teeth avoid
foods with citric acid. If sensitivity persists:
- Have patient call office
- Prescribe fluoride for
- Purple tray after bleaching
session indicates presence of zinc in fillings.
- Keep bleach refrigerated
(store standard bottles upside-down).
- Do not smoke, eat or drink
with tray in place.
- Pregnant women should only
bleach with the agreement of their physicians.
- Bleach upper arch first.
- Wait two weeks before doing
crowns or fillings.
Key Benefits of
- Corrects browns, yellow and
mottle tooth staining
- Works on people of any age.
- Is a near permanent solution for
a "dull" smile, restoring brightness and brings a smile alive.