Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
In-Office Teeth Whitening
Few things reinvigorate a stained smile more than an in-office teeth whitening treatment. Unlike at-home toothpastes, kits, and trays, professional teeth whitening utilizes high-strength products that are applied under strictly controlled conditions so that you achieve a brighter smile in a safe and comfortable setting.
In-office teeth whitening offers:
- The fastest results
- The safest form of whitening
- Reduces post-treatment tooth sensitivity
Some types of tooth discoloration are better left to professionals. In-office teeth whitening can remove stains caused by:
- Aging. Getting older leads to an accumulation of discoloration for most people.
- Consumption of certain foods and beverages, particularly coffee, red wine and smoking.
- The use of certain medications.
Before undergoing a professional teeth whitening treatment, your teeth will be cleaned to remove any plaque or food debris that may have accumulated. A dental exam may also be performed to look for signs of tooth decay and gum disease. The reason is that bleaching can irritate the area if these conditions are present and not addressed.
Photos may also be taken of your teeth to provide the basis for a before-and-after comparison. They will also allow your dentist to measure the current brightness of your teeth using a shade guide.
The Teeth Whitening Process
There are some variations in the teeth whitening process, depending upon the patient and exact method used. However, you should experience no pain or discomfort during your treatment.
We begin by inserting a cheek retractor into your mouth to expose teeth for treatment. Next, we would place a rubber dam next to the gum tissue to protect it against the bleaching agents. A hydrogen peroxide bleaching gel will then be applied to the treated teeth, which is left on for up to 30 minutes.
We will suction or rinse away the bleaching gel, applying fresh whitening gel for an additional 15 to 30 minutes. Depending upon the type of whitening that you are undergoing, an intense light may be focused on your treated teeth to amplify the effects of the bleaching gel.
Between applications of the whitening gel, we will be checking your teeth to monitor the whitening progress so that we know if more bleaching gel should be applied. After the application of the final whitening gel, we remove the cheek retractors to allow you to rinse your mouth.
Finally, we will examine your teeth and determine the amount of shade change provided by the treatment. You may experience anywhere from two to eight shades of whitening during your treatment.
Naturally, your teeth may again become stained due to lifestyle choices or taking certain medications. Avoid the consumption of dark-colored beverages like coffee, tea and red wine to prolong your results. And if you are currently a smoker, stop smoking.
Although in-office teeth whitening is a highly effective, professional way to whiten your teeth, it is not always for everyone. If you are concerned that your teeth may again become stained, you should look into the possibility of receiving porcelain dental veneers that provide superior stain resistance and are able to correct other cosmetic issues.