Teeth 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 teeth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically. Since teeth 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.
Teeth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up may be needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.
What is the process?
A whitening gel is gently applied to your teeth and typically in under an hour you see the immediate results. You are then provided with custom made trays and whitening gel to be used at home for if, in the future, you feel your teeth need a “ touch up.”
At home treatment:
Impressions are taken and great care is applied to fabricate your own personalized custom whitening trays. You are given a specialized whitening gel that you place in the trays, which whitens your teeth as you sleep. The custom trays can be used in the future also for any other whitening needs you may have.
Will Whitening work for me?
Whitening teeth has a higher than 90% success rate. Results vary depending on several factors such as teeth stained from smoking; from taking medications such as tetracycline during tooth development; or from fluorosis, a condition occurring in the presence of too much fluoride.
Whitening will not lighten fillings or artificial materials used in dental repair as for crowns, porcelain veneers, etc. Drs. Lafferty & Bleak may discourage treatment if you have overly sensitive teeth, periodontal disease, teeth with worn enamel or if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
Research has shown whitening to be both safe and effective. The American Dental Association’s seal of approval has been given to a wide range of tooth whitening products.
Generally, the only side effect from treatment may be some temporary sensitivity to hot and cold foods. If this occurs, sensitivity normally disappears within 48 hours.