What is Tooth Whitening?
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.
Since tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate the 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 wine.
When is Tooth Whitening indicated?
Tooth whitening is suggested for:
- Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development)
- Normal wear of outer tooth layer
- Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.)
- Yellow, brown stained teeth
How does tooth whitening work?
The in-practice laser tooth whitening takes just one hour for the laser whitening treatment to be completed.
In-Practice Tooth Whitening
Professional in-practice tooth whitening ensures that a proper checkup is done prior to treatment and that precautions such as damming gumline is done before application of whitening gel. This type of tooth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate customized 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 your dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.
Your dentist may use a laser whitening or ‘power whitening' technique to whiten your teeth. Your gums are protected with a rubber dam and a bleach is applied on your teeth. The chemical bleach is then activated using a light or laser that is directed onto the teeth. This method provides faster results and up to five or six times lighter shades.
Teeth can also be whitened while in the comfort of your own home. The most popular method of tooth whitening is using a home whitening system that will dramatically whiten teeth, using safe custom-made guards.
The take-home bleaching kits come in the form of a gel that is applied through an individualized customized mouth-guard made at our dental laboratories. The use of the take-home whitening kit varies from overnight application to twice-a-day insertion.