Cosmetic Dentistry - Whitening
Information About Teeth Whitening
Today, many people desire not only strong healthy teeth, but also teeth that are lighter and brighter.Whiter teeth tend to give a younger, more pleasing appearance. Teeth whitening, also referred to as "bleaching", is a simple process of lightening stains and discoloration from live teeth.In the absence of trauma or other acute episode, teeth darken externally for various reasons over time:
- Smoking and chewing tobacco usage
- Coffee, tea, wine, soda consumption
- Heavily tinted foods
In addition, some teeth become darker internally for various reasons:
- Age: all teeth experience some darkening in color over the years
- Composition of water consumed
- Medications prescribed as a child
We have two main avenues by which to bleach live teeth: take-home bleaching and/or in-office bleaching. With take home bleaching, one of our staff will take impressions of your teeth and fabricate a thin tray custom fit to your teeth and all their contours. It is designed to fit comfortably over the teeth and conform to the contours of your gum tissue. A small drop of lightening gel is placed in the tray and placed over the teeth. Here in our office we let the patient decide whether they will be more comfortable with day-time whitening where trays are worn once or twice a day for approximately an hour, or night-time whitening where the tray can be placed in the mouth at bedtime and worn while you sleep.
Because every person has individual preferences we order the system you would prefer and put you in control of your bleaching. Teeth lighten more with frequency and duration of gel contact with teeth. The more time exposed to the teeth, the more they will lighten.
Take Home Bleaching
Custom Tray Fitted To Your Teeth
Gel Applied To Inside Of Tray
Tray With Gel Placed In Mouth
Should you decide to have the additional power of in-office bleaching, we will apply a gel so powerful it must be used under supervision of a dentist. The gum tissue is completely isolated with a barrier, the gel applied to teeth only, and finally the material is activated with a bleach-specific light. The entire process takes about one hour. In addition to the powerful effect of the immediate whitening, we will also make custom trays and dispense a take-home bleach kit to further whiten and extend the longevity of the white shade achieved. In-office bleaching is most appropriate for those who have very stained teeth, medication-related staining, or simply those that want the lightest shade possible.
Before And After Of Deeply Stained Teeth
Individuals will have varying amounts of whiteness attainable and this can be related to location of the tooth, intensity of the staining, and density of the tooth structure. Furthermore, non-vital teeth (teeth that have had root canal therapy or a "dead" tooth) will bleach at a slower rate and often will require a separate procedure called internal bleaching whereby an intense bleach material is actually placed inside the very tooth to lighten from the inside out. Keep in mind filling material and porcelain will not change color, so it is important bleaching is accomplished on teeth prior to bonding, filling, or placement of crowns.
Ask us about teeth whitening and the options available to you. We will be delighted to custom-tailor a lightening program that suits your needs!