Teeth whitening is the #1 requested and performed cosmetic dental procedure. Teeth whitening is a procedure that lightens teeth and helps to remove stains and discoloration.
A thin coating forms on your teeth throughout the day, which attracts stains. The tooth's enamel contains pores that hold stains. Cavities need to be treated before teeth are whitened because the whitening solution can penetrate decay and reach inner areas of the tooth, which can cause sensitivity.
Receding gums can cause roots to become exposed. Whitening will not work on exposed tooth roots, because roots do not have an enamel layer. Teeth whitening also does not work on tooth restorations such as crowns or veneers.
Whitening can be done in the dental office or at home.
Single Visit Teeth Whitening
One hour bleaching systems use a very bright light to activate higher bleaching concentrations to produce faster, more dramatic whitening results.
The technician will protect your mouth very carefully using cotton rolls, gauze and a liquid dam.
A special whitening lamp is used to activate the whitening gel for approximately 60 minutes.
Teeth Whitening at Home
The most common type of home tooth whitening involves placing a gel-like whitening solution, which usually contains hydrogen peroxide, in a tray that resembles a night guard or mouth guard. Over-the-counter mouthpieces are unlikely to fit correctly and can cause gum irritation if the whitening agent seeps out. The tray is then placed over the teeth for a certain period of time, anywhere from an hour or two to overnight.