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 esthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth. The most popular method is using a home tooth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically. We prefer to use Opalescence and have treated hundreds of patients in our practice successfully over the past 20 years. Since tooth 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.
Tooth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up maybe needed a few times a year, especially if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.
Reasons for tooth 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 tooth whitening involve?
This type of tooth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate comfortable, 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 special whitening solution either two hours a day 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 us regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.