Teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment effective in cleaning the natural tooth enamel, simultaneously enhancing 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. 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.
What does teeth whitening involve?
Actually, "whitening" or "bleaching" is a bit of a misnomer. "Cleansing" is a more accurate description of the process. All whitening systems involve the agent Carbamide Peroxide, a viscous gel that gradually releases effervescent peroxide that dislodges embedded stains in the microscopic spaces of enamel. The effect is similar to cleaning a dirty window: cleaning allows more light to pass through, making everything brighter and clearer. Decades of use have proven this process safe and effective if applied correctly.
Because the effective process of whitening involves a sustained interaction (hours/days) of peroxide with the enamel surface, whitening toothpastes, rinses, mints, etc. are effective only in getting patients to believe that their teeth are whiter. Avoiding stain producing foods or brushing soon after is a more predictable way to keep your teeth whiter.
Differences in Whitening Treatment involve the speed at which the whitening occurs. The speed of the process is a function of the concentration of the gel and rate of release of peroxide from the gel. General Rule: the faster the process, the higher the costs. Below is a summary of your treatment options for teeth whitening.
In Office "One Hour" Whitening-- As advertised, this procedure is done in our office and takes about an hour. This is our most popular treatment option, as patients like the convenience of being done in an hour and having potential sensitive areas protected. There is an option to have Custom Bleach Trays made during the appointment and ready for delivery for touch ups down the road.
Custom Bleach Trays--Impressions are taken to fabricate vinyl custom trays that fit your teeth perfectly, delivering maximum amount of gel to each tooth surface. Bleach gel, either for use during the day or at night, are included. It is very important after starting the whitening to continue the treatment every consecutively. The trays can be used indefinitely for future touch ups. Keep unused bleach gel in the refrigerator. Treatment time is 8-14 days.
"Go" Preloaded Trays--A set of 10 pairs of trays embedded with whitening gel similar in strength to that used with the Custom Trays, so treatment time is similar. Trays cannot be reused after initial use.
Crest Whitestrips--One size fits all vinyl strips embedded with low concentration gel. Can be effective, but treatment time is usually 14-21 days, and results can be uneven.
All whitening treatment administered at our office includes detailed evaluation and monitoring of progress and conditions.
If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, Contact Us!