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Tooth Whitening

Get more confidence in your smile!

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.   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.

About tooth whitening

What causes tooth discoloration?

  • Age
  • Medications (such as tetracycline)
  • Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
  • Dar foods and beverages (including coffee, soda, tea, and red wine)
  • Tooth trauma
  • Genetics

How does tooth whitening work?

The active ingredient in most tooth whiteners is some form of peroxide.  Oxygen molecules from the peroxide penetrate the tooth and break down discolored molecules.

Because the oxygen molecules spread throughout the entire tooth, it is not necessary for the whitening gel to touch every part of the tooth for the entire tooth to be whitened.

Will Whitening cause tooth sensitivity?

Some people experience sensitivity while whitening, but many do not.  Sensitivity doesn not mean damage has been caused to your teeth.  It is temporary and typically disappears within a few days.

The whitening gel system used in the office, Opalescence tooth whitening system, contains unique ingredients designed to decrease sensitivity and make your whitening experience as comfortable as possible.  We can provide you with additional desensitizing treatments if you experience lingering discomfort.

Will bleaching weaken my teeth?

No!  Bleaching will not weaken your teeth.  Bleaching will not weaken existing fillings or cements either.

How long do whitening results last?

Bleaching results typically last several years.  If your teeth start to discolor again over time, your can simply repeat a whitening treatment.

What does tooth whitening involve?

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.  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.

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.