Teeth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic dental procedures that we do here. Teeth whitening treatments are fairly straightforward, they actively bleach or whiten your teeth to give you the lustrous smile that you have always wanted.
The enormous desire to have sparkling white teeth has driven us to create multiple teeth whitening programs that work for almost any kind of teeth or sensitivity.
How Teeth Whitening Works
The first thing that we do before whitening your teeth is to fully review your previous fillings, crowns, and any other dental work you have done. Teeth whitening treatments are specifically designed to work on your natural teeth, not on fillers or crowns. By knowing what dental work you have had done in the past, we can help guide you towards the best teeth whitening treatments for you.
Once we have fully reviewed your dental history, we then choose a whitening technique that will work well for your teeth. Teeth whitening is not permanent, and if you are a smoker, coffee drinker, or wine drinker, you may find your teeth slowly returning to their previous color. You can keep your teeth looking beautiful and white for years to come by following a few simple instructions from your dentist based on your treatment plan. You can even do your own teeth whitening at home with our take-home whitening kits! Make sure to let us know if you have extremely sensitive teeth as many tooth whitening treatments can cause some discomfort for those with sensitive teeth.
There are a wide variety of reasons for tooth whitening treatments including:
Teeth Whitening Benefits
Teeth whitening quickly improves the beauty and warmth of your smile. With whiter teeth, your smile not only looks more attractive but it also projects youthfulness and good health. In-office whitening treatment does not take much time at all; in fact, it can be completed in less than an hour with rapid results.
Candidates for Teeth Whitening
Many people are well suited to teeth whitening treatment. You may be a good candidate for teeth whitening if your teeth have lost their bright, white color over time due to smoking or your dietary habits. Nicotine, coffee, colas and tea cause extrinsic tooth stains, which are a superficial type of discoloration affecting the outermost layer of tooth structure (enamel).
You are less likely to see good outcomes with teeth whitening if you have intrinsic tooth stains, or discoloration on the inner layer of tooth structure (dentin). Under those circumstances, you may need additional teeth whitening treatment to achieve satisfactory results. You also won’t see any improvement on dental bonding, crowns, fillings or other restorations. If you have restorations and wish to whiten your natural teeth, the restorations likely need to be replaced to match your whitened teeth.
Teeth Whitening Treatment Details
In-Office Teeth Whitening
There are several ways to approach teeth whitening treatment. For fast, noticeable results, dentist-supervised, in-office whitening is usually the way to go. During an in-office treatment with the GLO Science teeth whitening system, a powerful bleaching gel is applied to your teeth. A special light is then directed at the bleaching agent to activate its ingredients. After approximately 15 to 20 minutes, the bleaching gel is wiped off of your teeth, and the process is repeated several more times. Results can be seen almost immediately.
Dr. Pearson and our team customize treatment to your smile and take precautions to ensure any sensitivity or discomfort is minimal. Usually our patients see great results after one appointment, but some return for subsequent whitening systems based on their needs.
At-Home GLO Teeth Whitening
If you wish to whiten in the comfort of your own home, you can use the GLO Brilliant at-home system. Every day, you apply the GLO whitening gel to your teeth, insert the proprietary mouthpiece and turn on its LED light. The light gently warms your teeth, activating the ingredients in the whitening gel. The device is completely hands-free, so you can go about your day while whitening your teeth. After eight minutes, the light automatically switches off, and you have the option to turn it back on for additional eight-minute sessions. We recommend using the at-home kit for three sessions, once a day, for seven days. After that, you can “touch up” your results as needed. Our GLO patients report better results with minimal sensitivity compared to other whitening systems.
Recovering From Teeth Whitening
There is very little recovery, per se, from teeth whitening treatment. Your teeth and gums may feel mildly sensitive the day after in-office treatment, but discomfort or pain is unusual.
In the first few days following teeth whitening treatment, you should avoid consuming any colorful foods or beverages — i.e., anything that could stain a white t-shirt. If you must have your morning cup of coffee or tea, sip through a straw to limit the liquid’s contact with your newly whitened teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Whitening
Is teeth whitening safe for my dental health?
Yes, teeth whitening, particularly dentist-supervised teeth whitening, is completely safe for suitable candidates. Teeth whitening will not harm healthy tooth enamel. We recommend you undergo a dental cleaning before teeth whitening to ensure your teeth are free from plaque and tartar.
How long does teeth whitening take to complete?
It depends on the type of system you choose. In-office whitening with the GLO Brilliant system takes about an hour and results can be seen almost immediately. Most patients only need one treatment session to achieve significant results. During in-office treatment, you can relax and pass the time by watching your favorite television show or listening to music.
At-home whitening with the GLO Brilliant system requires about seven days of consistent use to produce results.
Will teeth whitening make my teeth sensitive?
Sensitivity varies from patient to patient. Some patients are prone to more sensitivity than others. If sensitivity is a concern for you, Dr. Pearson and our team can suggest solutions, such as using a desensitizing toothpaste. Generally, there is little sensitivity associated with GLO Brilliant treatment since it requires only three eight-minute applications.
How long do teeth whitening results last?
For the most part, teeth whitening results last as long as you maintain them. You can prolong the results of your treatment by practicing good oral hygiene, avoiding teeth-staining foods and beverages and not smoking. There is also the option of occasionally “touching up” your results with an in-office treatment or occasional use of the GLO Brilliant at-home system.
How will teeth whitening affect my fillings or crowns?
Teeth whitening does not lighten or otherwise affect dental restorations. If you have existing restorations and wish to lighten your teeth, we may recommend replacing the restorations to match your whitened teeth.
Are whitening toothpastes effective?
Whitening toothpastes normally do not produce significant results. They clean surface stains, but you won’t notice a big change in the color of your teeth. Other at-home kits, like Crest white strips, are not very powerful and often result in uneven, inconsistent results and moderate to severe tooth sensitivity. For the most dramatic results with the least sensitivity, you could benefit from a professional in-office treatment or at-home use of the GLO Brilliant system.
Can whitening be performed in combination with other treatments?
Yes, teeth whitening is often performed in conjunction with other cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as dental bonding or the placement of porcelain veneers, as part of a comprehensive smile makeover. Many orthodontic patients seek out whitening to put the “finishing touch” on their treatment results.
What are the side effects of teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening can cause temporary tooth sensitivity if treatment is not supervised by a dentist. Making Dr. Pearson aware of your concerns about sensitivity allows her to take precautions to protect you against this side effect. Another possible side effect of teeth whitening is red or irritated gums; however, this is usually temporary and resolves within a few hours or days of treatment.
Contact Essentially Pure Cosmetic & Family Dentistry Today
If you are interested in learning more about teeth whitening treatment with Dr. Pearson and her team, please call or email Essentially Pure Cosmetic & Family Dentistry today.