Teeth Whitening

Many people desire to have whiter teeth for any number of reasons. Although the final results cannot be predicted, the changes in one’s appearance can be dramatic. Teeth whitening is a way of changing the color of natural teeth, it doesn’t affect fillings (bonding), crowns or laminates. It is important to evaluate what effect whitening will have on a person’s smile if such restorations are present.  The replacement of any now darker restorations will be done after the whitening process is complete to match the shade of the new restorations to the lighter tooth shade.

The effect of whitening will not last forever. Time, certain medications, smoking, coffee and tea drinking and consumption of other deeply pigmented foods can darken teeth. However, whitening can be maintained indefinitely by repeat treatments.

There are several ways of whitening teeth. Impressions are taken and a custom tray is made. In the office, a strong bleaching gel is placed into the tray and is worn in the office for a total of about 1 hour. The trays are then taken home and a different gel can be worn at night for a few weeks and then the office procedure can be repeated for more dramatic results. Another technique just employs the home use of the trays at night. Also, prefabricated trays can be used for ½ hour to one hour during the day.

The effectiveness of each method varies as does the cost. It is normal to experience some tooth sensitivity during the whitening procedure.

In order to maintain the shade of the whitened teeth, touch up gels can be applied to the custom trays and worn whenever needed or desired.

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