Teeth Whitening Options

There are many different methods available today to whiten your teeth. You may want to start by speaking with Dr. Emery. He can tell you whether whitening procedures would be effective for you. Whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellow-ish hued teeth will probably whiten well, brownish-colored teeth may whiten less well, and grayish-hued teeth may not whiten well at all. Likewise, whitening may not enhance your smile if you have had bonding or tooth-colored fillings placed in your front teeth. The whitener will not affect the color of these materials, and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. In these cases, you may want to investigate other options, like porcelain veneers or dental bonding.

In-Office Whitening

If you are a candidate for whitening, Dr. Emery may suggest a procedure that can be done in the office. This procedure is called chair-side whitening and may require more than one office visit. Each visit may take from 60 to 90 minutes. During chair-side whitening, a dental assistant will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect the oral soft tissues. A whitening agent is then applied to the teeth, and a special light will be used to enhance the action of the agent.

Take-Home Whitening

There are several types of products available for use at home, which can either be dispensed by the Smile Station Dental or purchased over-the-counter.

Whitening solutions

These products contain peroxide(s), which actually whiten the tooth enamel. These products typically rely on carbamide peroxide as the whitening agent; it comes in several different concentrations (11%, 16%, and 21%).

Peroxide-containing whiteners typically come in a gel and are placed in a mouthguard. Usage regimens vary. Some products are used for about twice a day for 2 weeks, and others are intended for overnight use for 1-2 weeks. When you obtain the whitening solution from the Smile Station Dental, a custom-fitted mouthguard will be made for you that will fit your teeth precisely. Currently, only dentist-dispensed home-use 11% carbamide peroxide tray-applied gels carry the ADA Seal.

You also may want to speak with Dr. Emery should any side effects become bothersome. For example, teeth can become sensitive during the period when you are using the whitening solution. In many cases, this sensitivity is temporary and should lessen once the treatment is finished. Some people also experience soft tissue irritation – either from a tray that doesn’t fit properly or from solution that may come in contact with the tissues. If you have concerns about such side effects, you should discuss them with Dr. Emery.

Toothpastes

All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives. “Whitening” toothpastes in the ADA Seal of Acceptance program have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these ADA Accepted products do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth.