Tooth whitening, also known as bleaching, is the process of making teeth whiter and more attractive. As we age our teeth tend to darken. Our office offers two whitening options: professional in office bleaching, and passive tray bleaching.
In office bleaching is a revolutionary tooth whitening procedure. It is safe and effective. In just over an hour, your teeth can be made whiter. Other bleaching methods often take numerous applications over seven or more days. In office bleaching begins by isolating the lip and gums. A professional strength bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth. This bleaching agent is reapplied to the teeth several times during the procedure. When completed your teeth will be noticeable whiter.
Passive tray bleaching involves fabrication of a custom bleaching tray that fits just your mouth. A bleaching cream is placed in the tray and worn for several hours. Many patients prefer to wear their trays overnight. The trays are worn for a minimum of seven days but may be worn for extended periods of time depending on how severely stained the teeth are.
What are the side effects of bleaching? Many people are concerned that bleaching may damage their teeth. If done as directed bleaching will not cause permanent tooth damage. The most common side effect of bleaching is increased sensitivity to temperatures. This sensitivity is usually temporary and goes away within a few weeks. Some patients may also experience mild gum irritation that usually goes away within a few days of completing bleaching.
Tooth whitening is most successful when done shortly after having your teeth professionally cleaned. Many things we eat and drink can stain out teeth such as: tea, coffee, and tobacco products. In addition, calculus (also known as tartar) buildup can cover the teeth and reduce the effectiveness of bleaching. A dental cleaning removes surface stains and calculus and provides a “clean slate” for the bleaching agents.