Professional Whitening Services
Professional teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change natural tooth enamel, and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.
The color of our teeth also comes from the inside of the tooth, which may become darker over time. Smoking, drinking coffee, tea, and wine may also contribute to tooth discoloration, making your teeth yellow and dull. Sometimes, teeth can become discolored from taking certain medications as a child, such as tetracycline. Excessive fluoridation (fluorosis) during tooth development can also cause teeth to become discolored.
It’s important to have your teeth evaluated by your dentist to determine if you’re a good candidate for bleaching. Occasionally, tetracycline and fluorosis stains are difficult to bleach, and your dentist may offer other options, such as veneers or crowns, to cover up such stains. Since teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is also important to evaluate the replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. before bleaching begins. Once the bleaching is done, your dentist can match the new restoration to the shade of the newly whitened teeth.
Teeth whitening usually lasts from one to three years before darkening of the teeth is noticed. Additionally, once your teeth have been initially whitened, typically only ‘touch ups’ are required to maintain the whiteness.
Some patients may experience tooth sensitivity after having their teeth whitened. This sensation is temporary and subsides shortly after you complete the bleaching process, usually within one or two days. If sensitivity is persistent, please contact our office.
The most widely used professional teeth whitening systems:
In-office Teeth Whitening
In-office teeth whitening works by producing a significant color change in your teeth, in a short amount of time, usually within two hours. The procedure is done at the dental office by applying a highly concentrated peroxide gel to the teeth, the surrounding area is protected with a special shield. A special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent during the process. This is the costliest procedure for whitening your teeth.
Professionally dispensed take-home whitening kits
These whitening kits are purchased from your dentist for use at home. The strength of the gel used in these kits is lower than in-office bleachings, thus the gel can be applied for a longer period of time. We believe at Auburn Family Dental that this is the best and most effective way to bleach your teeth. We will make custom fitted trays for you, which you wear 2-3 hours a day for 10 days. This is the most popular technique as it can be done at your convenience. The bleaching gel can be purchased when you need touch-ups, and your bleach trays are reusable. There are different percentages of bleach strengths to meet your needs.
Over-the-counter teeth, whitening kits are store-bought and use a lower concentration gel than both in-office bleaching and take-home kits purchased from your doctor. While cheaper, they are typically less effective than methods performed by your dentist because of the low concentration gel. Additionally, over the counter trays or strips are not custom fit for your teeth, which results in irritation to your gums and color irregularities while wearing the trays or strips.
Some patients may experience tooth sensitivity after having their teeth whitened. This sensation is temporary and subsides after you complete the bleaching process, usually within one or two days.
Teeth whitening can be very effective and can give you a brighter, whiter, more confident smile!
Dr. Marie Durflinger recommends to her patients the take-home whitening kits as a teeth bleaching procedure.