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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.

Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth.  The most popular method is using a home tooth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically.  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 (one night) 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 tooth whitening involve?

This type of tooth whitening usually requires four 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 in the upper tray for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary.  We will then take a over all beginning shade of you upper and lower teeth along with pictures and keep that in our records. The upper tray is worn with special whitening solution at night while you sleep or during the day for at least 4-6 hours for two weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. 

At your third appointment, you will try in the lower tray for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary.  Same as the second appointment we will take records and pictures. We will answer any questions that you may have thought of over the first two weeks. The lower tray is worn with special whitening solution at night while you sleep or during the day for at least 4-6 hours for two weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. 

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.

At your forth appointment, we will take final shade record and pictures, you will then get your own before and after photos to take home.

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.