Keeping our teeth their whitest is a lot harder than it sounds. With all the coffee, wine, smoking and other foods that have the ability to stain our teeth on a daily basis, even proper maintenance sometimes leaves them a little lackluster. Teeth whitening is an excellent way to restore the natural color of your teeth or even make them whiter than your natural color if you would like.
The active ingredient in tooth whiteners is peroxide. There are three general ways to whiten teeth with a peroxide agent. First, over the counter products including Crest Whitestrips can be used to whiten the front teeth with limited effectiveness. Second, custom trays made by a dental professional can be made to use at home (most common method). Finally, there are in-office whitening systems that utilize a stronger concentration of peroxide to whiten the teeth in one clinical appointment by a dental professional. Our office provides all three methods of whitening teeth.
Procedure for Custom Trays
The first step in the whitening process is impressions. We will take full impressions of your upper and lower teeth. These impressions will be made into custom bleaching trays. The trays will fit onto your teeth perfectly so there is a small possibility of gum damage from the bleaching solution.
The second step is to place the bleaching solution in the trays and wear them for a few hours a day. Within 7-10 days, you will see a significant improvement in the color of your teeth. Your smile will look brighter and younger.
Bleaching only works on natural teeth and may not be effective in all cases. We will inform you as to the potential whitening for your specific situation.
Procedure for In-Office Whitening
In-office whitening requires about a one hour appointment. A protective barrier is placed around the gums. A stronger peroxide is then placed on the teeth for several applications. In the end everything is washed off the teeth and the smile is complete in only one short visit.
We typically make custom trays to take home for future touch ups and to ensure a long lasting result.