Tooth Whitening and Bleaching

Almost everyone has looked in a mirror at least once in their life and thought,
I wish my teeth were whiter!”

Well, we can make that happen! And we can do it relatively quickly and with reasonable cost. We look at this process as “tooth brightening”, as sometimes teeth that are too white can look unnatural and fake. Modern whitening systems allow you, the patient, and us as the dental professionals, to have good control over how white and how bright your teeth can become.

There are many over-the-counter whitening products on the market that you can buy at the local pharmacy or store. Some of these are better than others. Some work reasonably well, and some don’t work at all. But even the ones that work take a lot of your time, a lot of effort on your part, and end up costing more money than you would think. They can be messy, difficult to use, and can cause sensitive teeth, burned or irritated gums, and general dissatisfaction for you.
The active agent in almost every whitening system is a form of Hydrogen Peroxide. The differences are in the preparation of the bleaching gel, and in the strength of the chemical content in the gel. The newest gels now contain Fluoride and Desensitizers to decrease sensitivity during the bleaching/whitening process.

The two main systems in use are a take-home system, and an in-office system. The take-home systems are by far the most popular, and involve custom-made trays that fit your mouth and only your mouth. They are trimmed and contoured to be as comfortable and lightweight as possible. They maximize the coverage of the gel, and minimize the leakage and sensitivity. They usually involve about two weeks of at-home use, usually once a day for 1-2 hours.

The in-office systems are sometimes called “power bleaching”. These are much stronger in concentration, and bleach the teeth much faster. These MUST be used and applied in the dental office under the direct supervision of a dental professional trained in the use of these products. They work much faster, but are also more expensive. They may cause a slightly higher amount of sensitivity in some patients. Some of these systems use lights, some of them do not. They all take about 2 to 2 ½ hours of time, about 1 hour of which is actually spent bleaching. We will include take-home trays and some material for touch-up bleaching at home.

Ask us about your options, and what will work the best for you. We will present different plans to you, and let you choose the one you would like to try.