Whether you’re getting ready for the big day, or you just want to brighten your smile for everyday life, we have multiple options to suit your needs. Whitening can be done in the office with our higher strength materials. We use only the highest quality materials in our office to make sure we’re giving you the best care possible. We also have a take-home option, in which we provide you with custom trays and some syringes of lesser-strength bleaching gel to use at home. For optimal results, we highly recommend doing a combination of the two, using the in-office whitening as a boost to get you started, then supplementing it with the take-home whitening. Below we will discuss how the process of each one works.
What is the procedure like for in-office whitening?
For in-office whitening, the whole procedure lasts about an hour or so. We will bring you back, get you comfortable, and put on your favorite Netflix show. The first step is to isolate your lips and gums to make sure the bleaching material doesn’t get on them. Then we will mix the whitening material in the syringes to chemically activate them and apply it to the surfaces of the teeth. We will leave it on there for 20 minutes, then rinse it off and reapply. We can repeat this process up to a total of 3 cycles depending on how deep the staining on your teeth are and your desired shade.
What is the procedure like for take-home whitening?
For the take-home whitening, we will take impressions of both your upper and lower teeth. We will take these impressions to make a model of your teeth, which we will then use to fabricate custom trays to specifically fit your teeth right here in our office lab. You’ll then come back and we’ll try in the trays to make sure they fit accurately and give you some syringes of whitening gel to put in them to use at home.
How does whitening work?
Whitening gels contain various concentrations of either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. The amount of time you should leave the whitening material on depends on the concentration of the gel. These chemicals remove both surface stains and stains below the surface of the teeth by penetrating the surface of the enamel and breaking the bond between the stains and the teeth and releasing them. For deeper stains, whitening can be used in combination with micro-abrasion, which is used to remove deeper stains and fluorosis.
What are the adverse effects of whitening my teeth?
Whitening your teeth is a completely safe procedure when done correctly. It’s normal to have tooth sensitivity after having your teeth whitened. It is recommended to use a desensitizing toothpaste, such as Sensodyne, for two weeks prior to starting the whitening process. It is important to have a dental exam with Dr. Hopkinson or Dr. Sullivan before whitening your teeth, because if you have excessive receding gums or active decay, it can lead to increased sensitivity.
What are some other options for whitening my teeth?
Aside from the options mentioned before, our patients can also purchase Opalescence Go from our office, which are pre-filled trays that you just put in your mouth and it automatically adheres to your teeth. This is to be used for once a day for 5-10 days. Crest Whitestrips are another option, but may be less effective. Another option would be to use an over-the-counter whitening toothpaste.
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