Many patients seem concerned about the color of their teeth. Natural teeth should have a very slight hue to them, but over time we have ignored this and all want that beautiful white smile. It’s okay; I do too! There are many ways to whiten teeth, some more effective than others. After you know that you do not have any cavities or broken teeth, where the whitening process can be detrimental to the health of your teeth, it is perfectly fine to whiten those babies. This can be done with the very effective Crest whitening strips from any CVS, Walgreens, Target, etc.
However, the results will be much better when done with a professional grade whitening product. Trays can be made to hold the gel in close contact with the teeth, and the bleaching agent can be dispensed into the trays to wear for different lengths of time depending on the potency of the bleaching agent used. The bleach can be a carbamide peroxide gel or a hydrogen peroxide gel. Currently we are recommending a 10 percent carbamide peroxide for an hour a day to our patients who report some thermal sensitivity to whitening in the past, and a 22 percent to the patients who do not.
Our patients who seem happiest, though, are those that elect to do a one-hour in-office whitening treatment, where we actually place a barrier gel on the gums and apply the most concentrated peroxide gel to the teeth directly for three 15- to 20-minute sessions, depending on the desired level of whiteness. Sensitivity will be observed but for many, whiteness will be amongst us! Our patients have all reported a slight zap in the teeth, a “zinger,” once or twice within an hour or two of finishing their in-office treatment, but no discomfort after that. They also have seen results for nearly 4–5 months following treatment, with no touch-ups needed.
Not everyone is a candidate for whitening, but those that are have a multitude of options which can be overwhelming. I like to hear what our patients are interested in ultimately achieving, and making a recommendation for them to help get them there. Teeth whitening can be one of the most rewarding procedures we do because of the happiness patients get upon completion, and usually this is being conducted due to a big life event, so being a part of that is also a plus in our book!
If you are interested in hearing more about how we can help you brighten your smile, come on in and see what form of whitening is right for you and the results you want!