Tooth whitening 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 is an 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 for replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after whitening so they will match the newly whitened teeth.
Whitening can be done with over-the-counter products or by your dentist. Before choosing to use either method be sure to discuss it with Dr Meyer as individuals with certain dental work (such as crowns and bridges), infected gums, and sensitive or discolored teeth may not be good candidates for teeth whitening procedures.
Tooth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up maybe needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.
Types of Whiteners
Over-the-Counter Whitening kits
When choosing a store-bought whitening kit, be sure to select one that is approved by the American Dental Association. The length of time to achieve desired results vary according to the product and each individual’s teeth.
Take-home Whitening kits
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 with special whitening solution either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. If you experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, fluoride or desensitizing treatments can be provided; however, symptoms will subside shortly after you have stopped whitening.
You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit our office regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.
If an in-office treatment is right for you, the process is completed in the dental office in approximately one hour.
First, your teeth and gums are covered, so that only your teeth are exposed. Then a professional-strength whitening gel is applied to your teeth. A special light is then used for 15-20 minute intervals for three applications.
In our office we offer a take-home kit for you to use periodically to keep your new smile bright after your in-office whitening is complete.