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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.  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.

Tooth whitening is not permanent.  A touch-up maybe needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.

Reasons for tooth whitening:

  • Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
  • Normal wear of outer tooth layer.
  • Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.).
  • Yellow, brown stained teeth.
  • Before cosmetic procedures such as bonding, veneers or crowns.

What does tooth whitening involve?

Tooth whitening is done using custom fitted whitening trays. 

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. A special prescription toothpaste is given to you and is to be used for two weeks prior to actual whitening to redece the chance of tooth sensativity.

At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary.  To begin the process, a 45% carbamide peroxide gel is worn for 30 minutes in the office.  This "jump starts" the whitening process.  The trays are then worn with special whitening solution once a day for 60 minutes for 7-10 days 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.