In office Whitening

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A pearly white smile can be an excellent confidence booster. Yellowing or stained teeth are unpleasant to look at and can negatively affect your overall look. In office whitening is a quick, safe and gentle way to restore the natural color of the teeth with minimal discomfort. This process uses a combination of gel and light to whiten teeth by up to 14 shades in just one hour.

 

How can whitening help me?

The best candidates for the whitening procedure have strong, healthy teeth and gums. If gum disease is an issue, this needs to be treated prior to the gel application. Whitening treatment may not be a good option for patients with highly sensitive teeth, thinning teeth or teeth that exhibit deep inorganic staining.

Whitening can effectively alleviate the following problems:

  • Staining caused by tobacco use.
  • Staining caused by strong foods and drinks.
  • Yellowing teeth caused by aging.
  • Greying teeth (usually hereditary).
  • Organic staining.

What preparation is necessary before whitening?

Whitening elicits the best results on clean, healthy teeth. Therefore, a thorough cleaning is recommended prior to the treatment, to rid the teeth of plaque, tartar and rotting food particles. The dentist will always thoroughly examine the teeth while performing the cleaning to check for any fractures, inflammation or decay. Photographs might also be taken of the teeth prior to the bleaching procedure. This makes “before and after” comparisons more evident.

Though the whitening procedure only takes an hour in the office, dental trays and a less concentrated version of the gel may be given for home use. Whitening is long lasting and effective, but stains can quickly reappear on the teeth – particularly if tobacco is being used.

What does in office whitening treatment involve?

None of the steps in the procedure should cause discomfort. The bleaching gel is applied to the teeth for three twenty-minute intervals as follows:

  1. A retractor is placed inside the mouth to fully expose the teeth.
  2. A hardening resin is applied to the gums to prevent the bleaching gel from irritating them.
  3. The gel and blue light are applied to the teeth for twenty minutes.
  4. The dentist checks whitening progress.
  5. The gel is removed and then more gel is applied for another twenty minutes.
  6. The gel is again removed and then more gel is applied for an additional twenty minutes.
  7. The retractors are removed when the final gel application is complete.
  8. The mouth is rinsed and the new tooth color is measured immediately.

The teeth may look incredibly white immediately after treatment due to mild dehydration. The actual color of teeth will become apparent when the teeth have had 48 hours to rehydrate.

If you have any questions or concerns about whitening treatments, please ask your dentist.

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