As we age, our teeth often darken, a process that can be expedited by the use of such substances as tobacco, coffee, tea or red wine. Teeth whitening, also called bleaching, lightens the color of your teeth. These brightening effects can last up to five years after treatment.
Bleaching has a higher than 90% success rate with most patients who pursue this treatment method. Bleaching is hard on stains, but mild on your teeth! Using a teeth-whitening process can be one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways of making a substantial cosmetic improvement in a timely manner. However, bleaching will not lighten porcelain or silver fillings, or synthetic materials used in dental repair such as porcelain crowns and veneers.
In Office Teeth Whitening
The quickest and safest option is professional teeth-whitening treatments offered by a dental expert. This method takes place under the close attention of a dental professional and is performed in the dental office using an intensive bleaching system such as ZOOM! or Venus Whitening Systems. This method lightens teeth instantly. The whitening process entails applying a bleaching solution directly to the teeth to eliminate stains and discoloration, and then using an ultraviolet light to help activate the bleach. Treatment usually takes one to two hours, with noticeable results by the time you leave.
Take Home Tray Whitening
The second most safe and effective brightening option is teeth whitening trays and solutions offered by a dental professional, as opposed to buying a store brand product whose efficiency and safety have not necessarily been proven. We offer two take-home bleaching methods: Nite-White®, which works while you sleep, and Day-White®, which you use for one hour, twice a day. Both methods utilize custom-fitted trays and doctor prescribed bleaching gel, and both offer noticeable results within 10 to 14 days.
Very sensitive teeth or teeth that are chipped, decayed, or weakened by cavities or periodontal disease should be repaired and/or treated before they are bleached. The dentist may also discourage the bleaching option if you are pregnant or nursing. The main side effect of doctor-monitored teeth whitening procedures is sensitivity to hot and cold foods and liquids. This sensitivity normally disappears within 48 hours.