Dental bleaching (teeth whitening) can be used to correct many tooth discolorations. These discolorations may have been caused by staining, aging, or chemical damage to teeth. Using a variety of bleaching materials, we offer a safe method for creating a bright smile. It is safe, quick, and inexpensive. Please let us know at any appointment if you would like to begin bleaching. You can lighten only your upper teeth, or both upper and lower, depending on how much of each shows when you talk and smile.
How is it Done?
An impression is taken to make a specialized mouth guard or tray to hold the bleaching agent against your teeth. Your custom bleaching trays will be ready for you within a week. We provide a bleaching agent which you place into the bleaching trays. The material is used overnight or for a couple of hours during the day for two to three weeks. The bleaching agent removes stains from your enamel in a very short time without altering tooth structure or existing dental work in any way. Once your teeth reach the brightness you desire, occasional treatment will be needed to maintain your new smile.
Who Benefits From Tooth Whitening?
People of all ages can benefit from tooth whitening. However, treatment may not be as effective for some as it is for others. During your oral exam, Dr. Sallustio can determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure.
Is Tooth Whitening Safe?
Yes. Research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth under the supervision of a dentist is safe. In fact, many dentists consider whitening the safest cosmetic procedure available. However, it is not recommended for children under the age of 13 and pregnant or lactating women due to lack of clinical research data available for those groups.
What Can Cause Tooth Discoloration?
There are many causes. The most common include aging and consumption of staining substances such as coffee, tea or tobacco. During tooth formation, use of tetracycline, certain antibiotics, or excessive fluoride may also cause tooth discoloration.
Are There Side Effects?
Some people experience temporary increased tooth sensitivity to cold during treatment. This symptom disappears within one to three days after interruption or completion of the treatment. Fluoride can be used inside the tray if needed to decrease sensitivity.
The degree of tooth whitening depends on the amount of time that the bleaching agent remains on the teeth. Over-the-counter bleaching agents are available at drug stores and pharmacies; however, since these products contain very low concentrations of bleaching agent and can remain on the teeth for just a short time, they are useful only in the mildest cases.
Home bleaching using custom trays, which are made from impressions of your teeth, offers several advantages over store-bought options. Most important, they confine the bleaching agent to the surface of the tooth allowing a stronger concentration of bleaching agent to be used. This results in a dramatically better outcome.