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?
We currently have 3 options for teeth whitening:
1) In-office whitening - This type of teeth whitening is best for immediate results and the best part is that it will only take one visit and a couple of hours. Your teeth will be 2-4 shades lighter.
2) Custom whitening trays - This type of teeth 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 trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with a 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.
3) Take-home whitening trays - For this option, we recommend Opalescence Go. Our doctor has personally tried it and it worked for him, that's why we are recommending it to our patients. It comes in a box of 10 pairs of upper and lower trays and it is to be used 15-30mins daily for a total of 10 days. It is great for people who experience more sensitivity with whitening products such as when using Crest Strips.
For all the options, patients might experience sensitivity to a certain degree but it should subside a few days after they have stopped bleaching.