The cosmetic dental treatment known as ‘whitening’, or bleaching, is used to whiten the tooth enamel. Pigmentation, tea, age, coffee, tobacco, red wine or medications such as tetracycline are just some of the causes of discolored or stained teeth.
The bleaching process uses a peroxide gel added to a mouth guard-like tray to ensure direct contact with the tooth surface.
What are my teeth whitening options?
Tooth whitening can be done in-office or at-home using a whitening kit. Our office offers both solutions.
Your dentist will recommend the appropriate solution for you depending on the types of discoloration and staining you are experiencing. For example, if you have darkly stained teeth caused by tetracycline, an in-office deep bleaching treatment may be recommended.
For patients with tooth stains caused by medications like tetracycline, the best solution may be in-office deep bleaching.
Before the dentist applies the whitening gel, a protective cream is applied over the gums and other soft tissues. Once the gel is applied to the patient’s teeth, a laser can be used to accelerate the whitening process.
In-office bleaching may require more than one visit to complete.
Your dentist may recommend an at-home teeth whitening kit. Depending on the desired results, at-home whitening can take 10-15 treatments but is more cost effective than in-office bleaching.
An at-home whitening kit uses a 10 to 20% carbamide peroxide solution and a custom made mouth guard so the solution stays in contact with the enamel of your teeth.
Once the desired results have been achieved, you may want to do a ‘touch-up’ once or twice a year to maintain your beautiful smile!