Tooth whitening—sometimes called bleaching—is a non-invasive dental treatment used to change or lighten your natural tooth enamel. It’s a great way to enhance the beauty of your smile.
Reasons for tooth whitening:
Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
Normal wear of outer tooth layer.
Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.).
Yellow, brown stained teeth.
What does tooth whitening involve?
The most popular, cost-effective system for tooth whitening system is one that patients can do at home. This type of tooth 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 Dr. Atkins will make adjustments if necessary. At home, you will fill the trays with special whitening solution and can choose to bleach for twice a day for 30 minutes, or wear the filled trays overnight. You will continue for around two of weeks, depending on the degree of staining and the 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.
Some patients choose to have tooth whitening done in one appointment at the dental office. There are different brands, and it is more expensive, but it’s quicker. Our office will also give you bleaching trays to use for touch-ups at home later on. The trays are included in the price of the in-office whitening.
Important to know:
- Tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, so if you have any crowns, veneers, or tooth-colored fillings, they will not be bleached with your natural teeth. We recommend replacing any restorations before bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth.
- Tooth whitening is not permanent. You may need a touch-up every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.
You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and we encourage you to visit us for your regular check-ups to maintain your healthy, beautiful, white smile.