Teeth whitening is, by far, the most popular cosmetic dental procedure. Dental Whitening procedures fit within almost any budget and the results are quick. Technically, there is a difference between teeth whitening and teeth bleaching.
Whitening means to brighten your teeth by removing stain caused from staining foods and beverages (berries, coffee, wine, tea, etc).
This stain removal whitens teeth back to their naturally white stage. Bleaching refers to lightening a tooth from the inside-out. Bleaching brightens the inside (dentin) of the tooth, thereby making the whole natural tooth whiter.
Almost everyone is a candidate for teeth whitening or teeth bleaching. However, some dark teeth are much more resistant to the dental whitening procedures. Teeth that are discolored with dark gray or reddish shades are the most resistant to teeth whitening; an example of this type of dark shade appears in teeth affected by tetracycline. Still, even these dark teeth will whiten to some degree with long-term compliance. Depending on the results you desire, whitening may be an option for dark (gray/red) teeth. Otherwise porcelain veneers are an excellent option and allow you to choose how white you want your smile to be.
Whitening removes stains, via polishing of the surface of the tooth (this is why some over-the-counter toothpastes can claim “whitening”, while bleaching sends peroxide into the tooth to whiten the organic material inside.Teeth Whitening
Peroxide (either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide) is the agent used in professional dental whitening procedures. The peroxide enters the teeth and whitens the inside layers (dentin) of the teeth.
At Atlanta Dental Spa, we pride ourselves on staying at the forefront of cosmetic dentistry — this includes whitening technology. We offer several different systems, including professional-grade strips, custom trays, and in-office whitening.
1-Hour In-Office Whitening: “Boost”
Boost (TM) Whitening uses a high-concentration hydrogen peroxide gel that absorbs quickly and thoroughly into the teeth, whitening teeth from the inside-out. For several years, Boost has been proven by independent professional dental studies and publications to be the most effective in-office dental whitening procedure available today. It far surpasses Zoom! in whitening studies and competitions of all kinds, and as Atlanta cosmetic dentists it is what we recommend. How does it work?
At the Atlanta Dental Spa, we place protective barriers and coatings on your lips, cheeks, and gums so that the strong peroxide has contact only with your teeth. Your job is to sit back, relax (with noise-cancelling headphones and your choice of TV programming), and enjoy. After two or three cycles of the peroxide gel placed on your teeth, your teeth will get shades whiter in just one hour.
It takes an average of 3 in-office dental whitening procedures to get your teeth to the whitest shade your teeth can attain. It does not work better than the trays or strips, it just works faster. This system is great for someone who just can’t follow through with wearing trays or strips for an hour-a-day. Basically, we do it for you so you don’t have to. For people with sensitive teeth, this system may exacerbate the sensitivity for a few days after the procedure. We do have some medications you can use after your in-office dental whitening in order to reduce some of the sensitivity. For patients with extremely sensitive teeth, lower-strength strips or trays may be a better option.
If you don’t want to “mess” with the trays, and you prefer a more “instant” result, Boost might be the perfect teeth-whitening solution for you.
Custom Trays: “Take-Home Trays”
Whitening with custom trays is the system that has been most widely used over time. It is considered the gold standard for teeth whitening. We make models of your teeth and fabricate a clear plastic tray that fits perfectly. You are given syringes of whitening gel to place in your trays. Then you wear your trays with the gel in them for an hour each day or — if you are able — at night while you sleep. The peroxide gel enters your teeth and, though the same process as other professional whitening systems, whitens your teeth from the inside-out. One of the benefits of having these trays is that when you run out of gel, you only need to purchase more gel syringes- not a whole new system. So, it’s great for touch-ups (say after a month of heavy Starbucks).
Tres Whites: “Professional Strips”
These are pre-formed, pre-loaded, professional-grade teeth whitening strips. This method is very similar to that of Crest White Strips, except that we are able to deliver a stronger, more powerful, more effective whitening strip. This system requires no impressions, no waiting, and no mess. You simply purchase a kit consisting of 10 upper trays and 10 lower trays. You fit the strips to your teeth and wear them for 30 minutes to an hour. They are comfortable and disposable after each session. They work great; they make great gifts; and they will last for up to two years if refrigerated.
Whitening Pens “Touch-Up Pens”
Whitening pens are the newest genre of professional teeth whitening systems. These pens work well for a quick touch-up whitening before a big event, date, photoshoot, etc. Pens are convenient because they can be carried around in a purse or pocket and they can be used anywhere, anytime. To use, smile big or retract your lips off of your teeth for 30 seconds (or dry your teeth with a tissue/paper towel). Paint the pen brush onto the front surfaces of your teeth, and stay smiling big for 30-60 seconds until the material drys a good bit. Refrain from eating or drinking for 20 minutes. (This system also works very well right before bed…just paint on and then go to sleep). Atlanta Dental Spa carries only the highest-performing whitening pens.
Crest white strips do work. They use a low concentration peroxide gel in pre-formed strips that you stick to your teeth. Because they are a lower concentration gel than you get from the dentist, strips will not work as well as a professional system. It’s like a prescription: you can buy an OTC aspirin for your headache and it will help the pain, however your doctor can prescribe a much stronger pain killer.