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Tooth Whitening

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. Our office offers two ways for you to obtain a whiter smile. If you are wanting to obtain whiter teeth in a matter of a couple of hours, you may elect to have our in-office whitening treatment. Or, you have the option of using a take home procedure that you would use for a consecutive 4 to 5 day period.

Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth.  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 every several years, and more often 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 the take home whitening procedure involve?

This type of tooth whitening usually requires two visits.  At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate 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 for a 4 to 5 day consecutive period. Each day you would wear the trays for a 3 to 4 hour period. 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 your dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.

What does the in-office whitening procedure involve?

The ZOOM* in-office whitening procedure allows the patient to have a beautiful result in as little as an hour. The complete process takes around 2 hours which allows for 60 minutes of actual light time and time allowance for product placement. We advise the patient to use a highly fluoridated toothpaste for a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the actual whitening treatment. This will aid in the reduction of sensitivity during and after the treatment. A pre-treatment questionnaire is given to the patient to advise them of various do's and don'ts and possible medication interactions. Also, impressions are taken that day in order to make trays to be used for maintenance. Then the patient will maintain the level  whitening with gel that can be bought in our office when needed. The amount and frequency of maintenance will be different for every individual. Depending on an individual's habits...coffee drinker, smoker, etc. will dictate the frequency of using your at-home trays.