Whitening - Frequently Asked Questions
What are my whitening options?
We offer two options for whitening to suit your lifestyle:
In office whitening — a one hour session to whiten your teeth in one visit.
Customized take-home whitening — special trays customized to your teeth are
made and you are given a professional-grade whitening gel. The trays are worn
for 45 minutes a day for 1 week to 10 days. This is the whitening treatment
we provide with our "new patient exam and X-rays" special.
How does tooth whitening work?
Tooth whitening is the process by which the discolorations and stains of the enamel are removed. There are many causes of tooth discoloration including the consumption of highly-colored foods and drinks such as coffee, tea, red wine, sodas, and beets.
Is it safe?
Yes. Clinical studies have shown that teeth whitening under the supervision
of a dental professional is safe for teeth and gums.
How long will it last?
This will depend on you and your oral habits. Periodic touch-ups can be done
once or twice a year.
How white will my teeth get?
This will depend on your teeth as everyone’s teeth are different. Typically, you can expect your teeth to brighten by 4 shades. Heavily stained teeth will brighten the most.
Will my crowns, fillings and veneers whiten?
No. Only your natural teeth will whiten.
How can I maintain my bright smile?
The darker colored food and beverages discussed earlier should be avoided to
prevent further staining. Alternatively, patients can use a straw while drinking
staining beverages such as tea, coffee and soda. Of course proper oral
hygiene (brushing and flossing after meals and before bed) that is regularly
practiced will not only help to maintain your smiles appearance, but your oral
health as well.
Are there any risks involved?
The teeth whitening procedure can
leave your teeth temporarily sensitive especially to temperature. This
sensitivity is most likely to occur in patients who have gum recession and
larger cracks in their enamel. Typically the sensitivity lasts only a few
days. In these cases, we recommend using toothpaste with potassium
nitrate(such as Sensodyne) to help ease the discomfort.
50 percent of
patients receiving treatment with whiteners will experience gum irritation
either from the bleach concentration itself or from the whitening trays. This
will last a couple days until the bleaching has fully stopped and the peroxide
concentration is lowered.
As mentioned before, bonding restorations, veneers,
crowns etc. remain unaffected by bleach while the color of the natural teeth
will change. This factor should be discussed with your dentist as to whether
your case will require replacing those restorations for a more consistent and