There is a one-visit “fast” bleaching technique today that makes teeth the very whitest they can be. Zoom! in-office whitening system is a light-activated procedure approved by the Food and Drug Administration for efficacy and safety.
Zoom! in-office whitening has been shown to be most effective when combined with an at-home tray bleaching technique. The Power Whitening technique appears to get teeth significantly whiter than tray bleaching alone. Patients who previously were unable to bleach as white as they would have liked can now bleach significantly whiter.
The first phase of Power Whitening begins with tray bleaching. At-home trays will be worn for 14 consecutive nights. This will “condition” the teeth to absorb oxygen more readily from the Zoom! in-office whitening. After the 14 days of tray whitening, the second phase, Power Whitening, will be performed in our office and provide significant additional whitening over what already has been accomplished with the trays. The result will be WOW!
Patients will accomplish the at-home treatment by using trays containing bleaching gel. Most patients find these trays, made of thin clear flexible vinyl, very comfortable to while they sleep. You will find that the trays fit the teeth very well, and there is a gap (reservoir) on the outer side of each tooth (except there are no reservoirs on the very last back molars). These reservoirs hold excess bleaching gel.
You will be given a bleaching kit that will include several syringes of bleaching gel.
Teeth Whitening Theory
Teeth have a natural biologic limit to how white they can get. Historically, once you have reached this limit, no amount of additional bleaching would whiten your teeth more. However, the Power Whitening System will extend this previous limit and allow significantly more whitening.
The Power Whitening custom tray is one of the reasons that this style of bleaching works so well. The Power Whitening trays allow room for excess bleaching gel, and they seal at the gum line to keep the bleach in place. The whitening gel you will receive from our office has absolutely no acid and will not damage teeth or restorations.
In addition to whitening, oxygen also deep-cleans the teeth, removing microscopic debris between the crystals of the tooth structure. After bleaching, these “pores” are cleansed and open.
What to Expect
Your teeth and gums may be sore and sensitive during the first three to four days of bleaching This sensitivity usually decreases after the first three to four days. You may take an over the counter pain reliever, like Advil, to alleviate the discomfort.
During the bleaching process, your teeth may develop white spots. The area of the teeth near the gum line may look dark (this is just because the rest of the tooth will have become so light by comparison). Or the color may look too opaque (chalky). Don’t worry. This will all even out during the Power Whitening in-office visit.
You may find that your lower teeth do not lighten as quickly as your upper teeth. This is because the lower teeth are smaller, the enamel is thinner and the reservoirs are smaller. Again, do not fear. The Power Whitening in-office visit will whiten them beautifully.
- Just before you sleep, take two Aleve tablets (Naproxen Sodium). Aleve is an over-the-counter medication similar to Advil (ibuprofen), but lasts longer. Advil also works well, but does not last as long . The whitening gel and trays may cause temporary inflammation of the teeth and gums, resulting in some soreness. Aleve and Advil are great anti-inflammatory medicines. This is important to control the potential for inflammation and soreness.
- You will start your bleaching immediately before sleep. If you usually lie in bed watching television before sleep, wait until you are ready to sleep before using your bleaching trays.
- Rush your teeth immediately before each bleaching session because protein from your saliva will coat your teeth within minutes after brushing and could inhibit the bleaching agent from whitening your teeth as quickly. Be sure to use the desensitizing toothpaste that we dispensed.
- Squeeze a dab of bleaching gel into each reservoir on the inner side of the outer walls of the trays (except in the very last molars). We will demonstrate this technique for you during your next visit. The gel is thick and the trays are flexible, so the gel will cause the outer rim of the tray to be pushed away from the gum line. After you put the tray in you’ll need to firmly push the tray back against the teeth to establish the seal of the tray at the gum line-this is very important. We will demonstrate this also.
- If you’ve put too much gel in the tray, you’ll notice a significant amount of gel oozing out from under the edge of the tray. Remove the excess gel with a Q-Tip. Use less gel next time. If you’ve put in too little gel, you will see some voids thorough the clear tray. Next time use a little more gel. In the morning after removing the trays, rinse your mouth with lukewarm water. Clean the trays with Q-Tips under cool running water.
Permanently Maintain Your New White Tooth Color
Your teeth naturally darken with time. Bleaching gel that is specifically designed to use for touch-ups is available in our office. You should wear your bleaching trays for one hour for two to three days in a row at least every three months as additional protection against darkening. Wearing the trays in this manner will keep your teeth a very stable color indefinitely. If you want to keep them an even brighter white indefinitely, you may wear the bleaching trays more often.
Other Bits of Information
During the two weeks of at-home bleaching, stay away from staining foods and drinks. Since the oxygen cleans out the “pores” of the teeth, stain would fill in these microscopic pores during bleaching. That would only reduce the success of bleaching. Any food or beverage that would permanently stain a white shirt would also stain your teeth. When drinking a staining beverage, it may help keep the beverage off the outer surface of the teeth by drinking through a straw. Smoking should also be held to the very minimum during the bleaching process.
On your Power Whitening visit, we will apply a glossy clear protective coating on your teeth. You will not need to avoid staining foods after that visit.