Tooth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile. Since tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth.
Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, we have many different ways to whiten teeth:
1. Deep Whitening-This technique is a combination of in-office and at-home treatment and is used for tough stains and very dark teeth. It involves the patient sitting in the dental chair with very high strength whitening compound placed on the teeth. The patient will then continue the whitening treatments at home with a lower strength solution. The patient will then return in 2 weeks for a second deep whitening treatment in the dental chair.
2. Whitening trays- This involves the patient whitening their teeth at home using small customized trays. This technique is the benchmark in dentistry and by far is the most popular. It is very simple to do and produces very consistent results.
3. Whitening Strips- These products can often be purchased at our office or over-the-counter.
In either case, the amount of whitening is different for different people. In order to keep your teeth as white as you may like, a touch-up will be needed periodically- especially if you smoke or drink coffee, tea, or wine.