Teeth Whitening : Overview and Options
Everybody loves a bright white smile, and there are a variety of products and procedures available to help you improve the look of yours. Many people are satisfied with the sparkle they get from daily oral hygiene and regular cleanings at your dentist’s office, but if you decide you would like to go beyond this to make your smile look brighter; you should investigate all of your teeth whitening options.
Start by speaking with your dentist. He or she can tell you whether teeth whitening procedures would be effective for you. Whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellowish hued teeth will probably bleach well, brownish-colored teeth may bleach less well, and grayish-hued teeth may not bleach well at all. If you have had bonding or tooth-colored fillings placed in your front teeth the whitener will not affect the color of these materials, and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. You may want to investigate other options, like porcelain veneers or dental bonding.
If you are a candidate for teeth whitening there are several ways to whiten your smile:
There are 3 possible teeth whitening combinations available with us
- In-office bleaching: This procedure is called chairside bleaching and usually requires only one office visit. The dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect the oral soft tissues. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth, and a special light may be used. Involves 6 to 10 top and bottom front teeth; 12 to 20 total. Total number of teeth whitened depends on the presenting conditions. Although the teeth are isolated and soft tissues are protected, it is possible some of the whitening solution can contact the tissues. The tissues may temporarily turn white and be sensitive. This will go away in a few hours at most. Some postoperative colour rebound is possible.
- Take-home bleaching: Dentists take impressions of both the jaws and fabricate bleaching trays. Trays cover all top and bottom teeth. One box of whitening solution (possibly two) is usually needed. Trays can be worn while sleeping or during the day. This technique can take several weeks to complete. Trays can be kept and used in the future, with only a syringe of whitening gel to “touch up” teeth before important events. Food and drink will yellow teeth over time.
- A combination of in-office and at-home tray teeth whitening: This is the fastest, most effective, and best value. The in-office teeth whitening is done in one appointment. The trays stabilize the colour, reduce rebound, and are available for the future.