Teeth Whitening Program
Teeth whitening is a popular and very affordable procedure that brightens teeth and improves the smile. The process can involve simple stain removal to return teeth to their natural appearance, or bleaching, which lightens the dentin inside of the tooth to give a brighter look.
Who Can Get Teeth Whitening?
While nearly anyone can receive some form of teeth whitening, there are some cases where the process is less effective. Those who have darkened teeth with red or gray shades may not get the desired results even though some lightening will occur. Porcelain veneers are an alternative option for darkened teeth that will allow the patient to control the level of whiteness.
Teeth Whitening Systems
Many dental offices offer a selection of modern whitening systems including:
- In-Office whitening. This system is the fastest way to achieve teeth-whitening goals. The patient has protective barriers placed on the gums, lips and cheeks after which a strong peroxide gel is applied to the teeth. The result is a two to three shade difference after only 60 minutes.
- Custom trays. This method of whitening is considered the gold standard although it is more involved than the one-hour approach. Impressions are taken of the patient’s teeth to create a perfectly fitting pair of plastic trays. The patient fills the trays with a whitening gel and wears them for a set time every day until the desired level of lightening has been reached. The tray system is handy for maintenance as it only requires more gel to restore whiteness.
- Opalescence Go trays. This approach works much like the custom trays except that the trays are already made and they allow the natural suction of your mouth to fit the tray to your teeth. Each kit contains 6 upper and 6 lower trays that are worn for up to an hour each day. They are disposable and do not require the patient to be fitted for custom trays.
- Over the counter strips are also available but they typically are not prescription strength and are usually less effective at whitening your teeth.
How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?
There is no clear answer on this since people have different habits. Those who drink coffee, tea or red wine regularly will see a faster decline in whiteness than someone who does not. Using toothpaste or whitening strips can quickly reverse this effect. In most cases, teeth never return to the shade they were before the whitening treatment.
For a quick smile boost, teeth whitening is an excellent choice.