What Is Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening (or tooth 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. It’s common knowledge that teeth whitening products are inferior. After most patients try these at-home teeth whitening products, they usually call us for a better teeth whitening option.
The most popular of the professional tooth whitening methods is the one hour, in office treatment. This offers convenience with quicker, more dramatic results. We also offer an at home tooth whitening system. 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. A consultation with your dentist will help you best determine if you need to do this after your teeth whitening procedure.
Keep in mind that tooth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up maybe needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.
Two types of teeth whitening
There are two main types of professional teeth whitening:
1. In Office Teeth Whitening. The two hour in office teeth whitening system requires one appointment. This procedure is designed to lighten the color of your teeth using a combination of a highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide gel and sometimes a home care system also. This method offers you a more convenient and a quicker result.
2. At home whitening method. This type of tooth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear plastic, trays. At your second appointment, you will try on the teeth whitening trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with special whitening solution once a day for about two hours. How often you use them depends 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 the whitening results.