How does teeth whitening work?
The teeth whitening gels used in our office contain high levels of carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide. The bleaching agents lift and remove stains from enamel, leaving enamel several shades whiter. While over-the-counter products may contain two or three percent bleaching agents by volume, the whitening gels used in our office have an active agent concentration of 20 to 35 percent.
If store-bought products have failed to deliver the cosmetic results you desire, a member of our dental team will gladly explain the benefits of professional teeth whitening.
What are my teeth whitening options?
There are two options for teeth whitening: in-office and take-home treatments. Both options deliver drastic cosmetic results. In-office whitening treatment takes around one hour to complete. A member of our dental team will be available to supervise your treatment and ensure that the bleaching agents do not come into contact with your gums.
Take-home whitening kits allow our patients to undergo treatments in the comfort of your home. Patients who do not want to sit in a dentist’s chair for one hour find take-home kits to be a convenient alternative. Undergoing whitening treatments at home also allows our patients to space out treatments if they experience tooth sensitivity.
Teeth Whitening Overview
Before your in-office treatment begins, a member of our dental team will put a protective barrier over your gums. Then, bleaching gel will be placed over your teeth and a special tray will be used to hold the gel in place. Depending on the type of gel that is used, a special light may be used to accelerate the whitening process. Some treatments require that gel is reapplied during the one-hour procedure.
For take-home treatments, you will be supplied with one or more syringes that contain bleaching gels, a custom tray, and detailed instructions on how to apply the gel. Depending on the type of gel that is used, you will be directed to use the gel and tray for anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours. You can space out your treatments for as long as you wish.
If you desire quick and drastic results, you can use the trays daily or as frequently as directed. Tooth sensitivity following teeth whitening is not uncommon. One way to reduce tooth sensitivity is to space out your at-home teeth whitening treatments. If your teeth are sensitive, one of our doctors can explain which teeth whitening options will work best for you.
Maintaining Your Cosmetic Results
With proper oral hygiene habits and regular visits to our office for cleanings, you can enjoy the cosmetic benefits of teeth whitening for around three years. To maintain your cosmetic benefits, patients can periodically use at-home whitening treatments to “touch up” their smile. Reducing consumption of coffee, tea, red wine, and other foods and drinks that are known to be stain-inducing can also help you maintain your bright, white smile for years to come.