A brilliant smile is a coveted feature; it can make you look younger, friendlier, and even more successful. What is best about having a bright, beautiful smile is how it makes you feel about yourself. You deserve to have a positive self-image and teeth whitening can help you secure that.
What is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth 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.
Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one cosmetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth. The most popular method is using home teeth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically. Since teeth 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.
Am I a Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
- Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
- Normal wear of outer tooth layer.
- Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.).
- Yellow, brown stained teeth.
Opalescence Teeth Whitening
Dr. Holbrook uses Opalescence teeth whitening products in order to help patients achieve a whiter smile. Opalescence offers custom take-home trays that tailor teeth whitening to each patient’s mouth. These trays are offered at different strength levels depending on the degree of staining. Opalescence is safe, effective, and offers professional results. Opalescence whitening gel contains PF (potassium nitrate and fluoride)
- Made to help prevent dehydration and shade relapse
- Opalescence PF take-home whitening systems come in 10%, 15%, 20%, 35% or 45% Carbamide Peroxide
- concentrations and are offered in mint, melon or regular flavors
- Trays can be worn during the day or night
- Whitening gel won’t migrate to soft tissues
Opalescence gel contains an active whitening ingredient that penetrates your enamel to reach the discolored molecules. The whitening agents react with the discolored molecules in your teeth, which break the bonds holding them together. These oxygen molecules whiten the entire tooth as they spread.
Teeth Whitening Process
This type of teeth whitening usually requires two visits.
- At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear plastic, trays.
- At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with special whitening solution either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.
You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays. You will also be encouraged to visit your dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile. Teeth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up maybe needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.
How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?
One of the advantages of professional teeth whitening versus commercial whitening strips is the longevity of results. Professional treatment achieves more dramatic result and longer-lasting radiance because the concentration of our whitening gel is stronger than over-the- counter products.
Estimating just how long results from teeth whitening will last can be somewhat difficult. For some patients, discoloration starts to dull the smile within six months. For others, brightness does not diminish significantly for two or more years.
The continuance of luminosity after professional teeth whitening is largely up to each patient. Proper oral care is one way to maximize the results achieved. Avoiding foods and beverages that are known to stain enamel, including red wine, coffee, tea and soda, is also advantageous, though we know that can be difficult. What you might do if you continue to drink coffee or other stain-causing beverages is rinse your mouth with water afterward. Do not brush, but swish water over teeth to dilute acid and particles that cause discoloration.
Teeth whitening may not be permanent, but your smile can be permanently radiant by keeping up with dental checkups, cleanings, and touch-up whitening treatments every year or two.
Teeth Whitening Costs
Whitening costs vary based on the type of treatment available. We offer three different options for whitening teeth. They are home whitening, power whitening, and deep whitening. Our home whitening is the most affordable of all methods of professional whitening and just as effective as the costlier treatments that are conducted in the dental office.
In addition to affordability, home whitening is appealing because it is convenient and gentle. Patients with sensitive teeth have more control over this common side effect when they whiten at home because they can stagger treatments rather than wear whitening trays on a daily basis. They can also use the whitening trays for touch up treatments if needed in the future.
Power whitening is appealing because it is completed in one visit in our office. In this one hour visit, we apply a special gel to the teeth and achieve a result that is comparable to the two weeks of home whitening.
Deep whitening combines both methods allowing for the best possible result. We use a one hour visit of in-office whitening followed by two weeks of home whitening for the best possible result.
Teeth Whitening Risks
Teeth whitening is one of the least invasive ways to make over the smile. Whitening has been performed millions of times over the past few decades giving patients the confidence they deserve when they smile.
The process works by penetrating the pores of enamel and dissolving the microscopic particles of debris that have settled in the superficial layers. Because the protective biofilm that is present on the surface is degraded in order to permeate the pores, tooth sensitivity may occur. This is temporary and, in most cases, very mild. Although a stronger concentration of peroxide, the professional whitening gel offered in our office, does not damage enamel or gum tissue.