Generally, whitening is successful in at least 90 percent of patients, though it may not be an option for everyone. Tooth whitening is a popular procedure to make teeth whiter and brighter, and therefore more attractive. Bleaching can be used to whitening stained and discolored teeth, or simply to enhance a dull smile. Either way, tooth whitening is a safe and relatively painless procedure ideal for most patients. Teeth darkened with the color of yellow, brown or orange respond better to lightening. Other types of gray stains caused by fluorosis, smoking or tetracycline are lightened, but results are not as dramatic. If you have very sensitive teeth, periodontal disease, or teeth with worn enamel, we may not recommend bleaching.

Several studies, during the past five years, have proven bleaching to be safe and effective. The American Dental Association has granted its seal of approval to some tooth bleaching products. Some patients may experience slight gum irritation or tooth sensitivity, which will resolve when the treatment ends. No one can really predict how much lighter your teeth will become. Every case is different. Typically, there is a two-shade improvement as seen on our shade guide. The success rate depends upon the type of stain involved and your compliance. Teeth whitening can only provide a shift in color from gray to a lighter shade of gray, for example. Teeth whitening does not lighten artificial materials such as composite restorations or porcelains.

Our office offers two methods of whitening: In-Office Whitening and Take Home Tray Whitening. Most patients choose dentist-supervised at-home teeth whitening trays, which is more economical and provides the same results as in-office procedures.

In-Office Whitening is an ideal procedure for anyone wanting immediate results. Because the entire procedure takes place in our office in about an hour, it is the perfect choice for busy individuals. In this process, a protective gel is applied to your gums to protect the soft tissue.
A special light-activated gel is then applied to your teeth and a special light or laser is used to enhance the action of the agent. Finally, we take impressions of your teeth to create custom trays for at home touch-up, and give you instructions for keeping your smile bright. The result is dramatically whiter teeth

Take Home Tray Whitening is a less expensive whitening treatment you can use while in the comfort of your own home to gradually whiten teeth. We will first take an impression of your teeth to create a customized clear tray that you will wear to whitening your teeth. Within a few days your trays will be ready to be picked up and we will show you how to apply the special bleaching material to the trays. The doctor generally recommends the patient to us the night time regimen by wearing the trays with gel while sleeping for maximum results, but can they be worn as a day time regimen a day for 30-60 minutes. If the daytime regimen is used you will take a little longer to get results and will use the gel up faster and may need to purchase additional gel to complete treatment. At the end of this period, usually two-four weeks, you will see maximum whitening results.

Whichever method you choose…..Tooth whitening results are not permanent! You just don't do the process once and not have to do it again. It requires maintenance. Touch-up is required from time-to time usually at your 6-month cleaning cycle for most maybe quarterly for those with staining habits. You do not have to wear the tray for two to four weeks for touch-ups, usually 3-4 days will brighten them up again.

With all whitening systems, you are advised not to eat, drink, or enjoy things that can discolor your teeth since recently whitened teeth are more likely to absorb stains. If you can, try to abstain from products that stain indefinitely since this will keep your teeth whiter.

There are over-the counter retail whiteners but, before you pursue any whitening system, talk to your dentist. Not all teeth whitening systems are alike and some people, such as those with recessed gums or exposed root surfaces, should avoid certain bleaching products. Your dentists can also help you if you have difficulties removing dark stains.

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