Tooth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel.
Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth. The most popular method is using a home tooth whitening system such as over-the-counter whitening strips and toothpastes. Since tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc.
Tooth whitening is not permanent. Multiple rounds of whitening may be needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or red wine.
Reasons for tooth whitening:
Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development)
Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.).
Yellow, brown stained teeth.
This type of professional tooth whitening usually requires two visits with your dentist. 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 adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with special whitening solution dispensed from the office based off your whitening goals/needs. 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.
You will receive specific care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit your dentist regularly.