Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a fast & easy way to brighten your smile, and in some cases can be done in as quickly as sixty minutes while you relax in the chair! A safe and effective system, Lumi-Brite uses a specially designed light to activate Lumi-Brite Whitening Gel, which gently removes discoloration from otherwise healthy smiles.

 

 

 

 

 

Teeth whitening may be the most commonly recommended procedure for cosmetic dentistry. With the latest whitening techniques, patients can see beautiful results quickly and easily. Teeth whitening is universally accepted by men and women alike and whitening (or bleaching) treatments are available to satisfy every budget, time frame, and temperament.

Factors affecting the whiteness of our teeth, include:

  • Age: As we grow older, we accumulate stains from foods and beverages and other elements over the years. This results in a discoloration of our teeth, making them appear duller than they used to be.
  • Tobacco Use: Smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco definitely stains and discolors natural teeth, especially after long-term repeated exposure.
  • Food and Beverages: Stains can also come from some foods, like colas, red wine, tea and coffee, stain teeth, especially after long-term repeated exposure.
  • Medication: In some cases, medication can cause stains or tooth darkening. For example, Flourosis, a condition caused by too much fluoride, can cause discoloration, as can tetracycline and some antibiotics used during childhood years.

Your dentist can explain how professional whitening can help in these situations. These stains can be minimized and often virtually eliminated by professional dental whitening. However, repeated exposure to the factors that caused the stains or discoloration in the first place will affect how long the whitening lasts.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Your dentist has different options available for whitening teeth, but generally it is accomplished by applying a bleaching gel directly to the teeth. The active ingredient in this gel, usually hydrogen or carbamide peroxide, breaks down and forces oxygen into the enamel and dentin of the tooth structure. The oxygen breaks down the stains and makes teeth whiter, without hurting the structure of the teeth.

How Long Does Whitening Take?
The length of time the bleaching process takes depends on the method used and the type of stains being removed. In-office procedures typically take one to three hours. With take-home whitening procedures, results can typically be seen in as little as three to four days, with the final result commonly taking about two weeks. Of course the degree of staining and the level of desired whiteness are factors in the total time.

Is Whitening For Me?
Whitening produces results in over ninety percent of patients, and it doesn't hurt teeth. Different factors will affect the process, and some people are better candidates than others. In general, yellow and lig

ht brown teeth, stained over a period of years make excellent candidates, while darker brown or grayish stains require special techniques. Whitening will not lighten artificial material in your moth like bonding, fillings and veneers. Those with sensitive teeth, damaged teeth, gum disease, and pregnant women are encouraged to discuss their conditions with your dentist.

What Are The Different Treatment Options?
Two types of whitening are offered by your dentist, in-office whitening, and take-home whitening kits. Both offer excellent results. The difference between the techniques involves the 

strength of the whitening gel and the length of time it remains in contact with the teeth. Some 

techniques are better than others on particular types of stains. Your dentist will explain which method is best for you, and could suggest either or a combination of both for best results.

Take-Home Whitening Kits: An affordable and effective way for many people to achieve excellent whitening results. After preparing your teeth for whitening, impressions are made of your teeth and plastic trays are molded specifically to fit your mouth. At home, you fill the trays with the whitening gel and fit them over your teeth. The trays hold the gel in contact with the teeth and are worn for a specified period of time. Some treatments are specifically designed to be worn overnight while you sleep. The trays are typically worn daily for ten to fourteen days (or nights), or until the desired whiteness is achieved.

In-Office Procedures: Sometimes called laser bleaching or power bleaching, are safe and effective methods to whiten teeth in the fastest way possible. Most in-office whitening takes one to three hours, including preparation time. Many patients prefer in-office bleaching because it gives instant results. Once the teeth are prepared for whitening gel is applied to the surface of the teeth and it remains on the teeth for about an hour while you relax comfortably in the chair. In some instances a laser or special light is used to assist the gel in the whitening process.

Is In-Office Whitening Better Than Over-The-Counter Products?
Over the counter products are not as effective or long lasting as the techniques offered by your dentist. Additionally the trays that hold the whitening gel are not custom fitted, and allow leakage that irritates gums.

What Preparation Is Necessary For Teeth Whitening?
Your dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth to determine if you are a good candidate for whitening, and what is the best method for your needs. A dental cleaning is always a good idea to make sure that the whitening gel can easily contact the clean, prepared surfaces of your teeth. In addition, your dentist will need to repair any damaged or sensitive teeth (or gum problems) before proceeding with the 
whitening procedure.

What Results Should I Expect?


Whitening produces results in over ninety percent of patients, and it doesn't hurt teeth. Typical results can produce a change of several shades of whiteness, lasting three to five years. Different factors affect how long the process takes, what method is used and how long the whitening lasts.

 

Is Whitening Safe?
The American Dental Association has approved whitening products, and clinical trials and studies have found them to be safe and effective. Most people suffer no side effects from whitening procedures, but some sensitivity to hot and cold foods is possible. This typically lasts for less than 48 hours.

For more information about our teeth whitening treatment options, call our office at (719) 597-6300 to schedule a consultation!