Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are several 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.
At Paul Innis, DMD, we use several methods: custom made tray whitening, professional strength white strips, and in-office bleaching.
The tray method involves having impressions taken, which the laboratory fabricates into custom vinyl trays. A carbamide peroxide gel is placed in these trays and the trays with gel are worn for about 30 minutes to a full hour.
The entire process takes about a week of daily use. Three different strengths of gel may be used, however, the higher the strength, the greater the likelihood of reactions or tooth sensitivity.
The tray method is recommended for badly stained teeth, such as tetracycline staining, and it may take several months of use to see significant color improvement.
Our in-office treatment is a very fast and convenient bleaching process. The appointment is approximately one hour including both the preparation and treatment. Our patients love this treatment because it is so easy and quick!
Teeth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up may be needed once a year and more often if you smoke and/or drink coffee, tea, or wine. For maintenance of whitened teeth the trays should be used every several months.
Reasons For Teeth Whitening
- Florousis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development)
- Normal wear of outer tooth layer
- Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.)
- Yellow, brown stained teeth