Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental treatment that uses safe bleaching agents to enhance your smile. There are many kinds of teeth whitening, from in-office professional treatments to take-home whitening kits and over-the-counter products. We offer in-chair professional teeth whitening and personalized at-home whitening kits at A Dental Place.
How Does Professional Teeth Whitening Work?
Before you receive in-office professional teeth whitening, your dentist cleans your teeth to remove any built-up plaque and tartar. Then your dentist places gauze in your mouth to dry your teeth, and restrictive retractors keep your tongue, cheeks, and lips away from the whitening solution.
Your gum line receives an extra barrier to protect it from the whitening gel. Then your dentist applies the bleaching gel, which uses hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as the whitening agent.
Professional teeth whitening offers fast, effective results due to the high concentrations of bleach used. The whitening agent oxidizes complex compounds called chromophores. The oxidation breaks down the compounds, and subsequent teeth cleaning washes them away.
A heat lamp or laser may be used to speed up the whitening process, and you can expect each treatment to take around 15 minutes. The treatment can be repeated up to three times to achieve your desired shade.
Once your teeth have been whitened, your dentist rinses your mouth and applies fluoride paste to reduce tooth sensitivity. Professional teeth whitening lasts from six months to three years if you maintain a good oral hygiene routine and limit pigmented foods and beverages.
Take-Home Custom Whitening Trays
Ask your dentist about custom whitening trays that you use from the comfort of your own home. They are a convenient alternative to professional in-office teeth whitening and great for touching up your in-office treatment. The whitening agent has a lower concentration; you will see noticeable results in about 14 days.
They are preferable to over-the-counter options because the custom tray applies the whitening solution accurately, resulting in less gum irritation. They usually have a higher percentage of whitening agents (10-20%) than their OTC alternative.
If you opt for custom trays, your dentist takes 3D images of your mouth. A lab uses the images to create your personalized trays, and then you can use them at home.
Before using the trays, thoroughly brush your teeth to remove plaque. Then apply the whitening gel to the tray and wear it for the period recommended by your dentist.
Side-Effects of Teeth Whitening
While teeth whitening procedures do not cause any long-term issues, according to the American Dental Association, they can cause temporary tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. An experienced dentist applies teeth whitening solutions accurately and safely to ensure your gums are not irritated.
Teeth Whitening at A Dental Place
If you want to restore your teeth to their pearly white natural color, then ask your dentist about teeth whitening options. Whether you opt for professional teeth whitening or a custom-made take-home whitening tray, your dentist can help you achieve a smile you are proud to share.
At A Dental Place, we invest in the most up-to-date dental technology to ensure our patients get the best dental services possible. Contact us today at (630) 620-7300 to schedule your teeth whitening treatment.