If you are unhappy with the color of your teeth, whitening or bleaching is a simple, non-invasive treatment option that can be done to lighten the color of teeth and brighten your smile. There are a few ways this can be accomplished.
In Home Teeth Whitening
This is the most popular method of tooth whitening for our patients and can be done via 2 different methods:
- Our office can take a mold / impressions of your mouth to fabricate a custom tray for your teeth. This tray will hold a whitening gel against your teeth. The tray is yours to keep and can be used multiple times and can last for years. Patients then take home a whitening gel to place in the custom tray, allowing you to whiten your teeth at your own convenience. After the initial whitening process, patients my use additional whitening gel in the future to re-brighten and whiten as needed. We have various concentrations based on whether you would like to wear the trays overnight while you sleep or for just a few hours during the day.
- We also have the option of professional strength whitening strips. These strips cover the front teeth only but are an economical alternative to whitening trays and gel. Patients often start with whitening strips and move on to using trays over time.
For patients with existing whitening trays from previous whitening procedures, we can also provide whitening gel refills
In Office Teeth Whitening
In office whitening is a great option for patients who want to see immediate results in their smile. Our office will first take a mold of your mouth to make a custom try for your teeth. You will then be scheduled back for a 2 hour appointment where a high strength whitening gel is used in the office to whiten your teeth. Once in office treatments are completed, patients may keep their custom trays to do touch up, at-home whitening with the take home gel when desired.
For patients with stubborn stain, whether due to tetracycline staining, fluorosis, or failed at home whitening, in office whitening is a great option. In many cases the in-office whitening system will involve an at home portion and an in office portion to achieve the best results.
Safe Tooth Whitening
Whitening your teeth is a perfectly safe procedure when done in moderation and on healthy teeth. Your dentist will check the health of your teeth and gums prior to providing whitening products to you. We will also inform you of any special precautions you should take.
Some patients experience sensitivity when using whitening gels. If you have a history of sensitivity please let us know as we have some product options to help with sensitive teeth.
It is also important for patients to be aware that tooth whitening will whiten teeth, but not your fillings, crowns and bridges. In some cases, crowns and fillings may need to be replaced after the whitening process due to a mismatch of color and other esthetic concerns. Your dentist will check for these potential concerns at your dental appointment.
When To Whiten Your Teeth
The best time to whiten your teeth is after your dental cleaning appointment. At your dental cleaning, your dental hygienist will remove surface stains, tartar, plaque and calculus buildup. This provides you with a clean tooth which is much easier to whiten with predictable results. If you have large cavities, we recommend waiting until after they are filled to have your whitening done. Large cavities can hurts when the whitening gel is applied, and damage to the tooth can occur.
If you are planning any cosmetic procedures such as crowns, veneers, or bonding, we recommend you whiten your teeth prior to the start of the procedures. This will allow you time to get your teeth to the color you want them before placing a permanent restoration.