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Tooth Whitening

Updated: May 11, 2020

What whitening options are available?

1) Over-the-counter products, including whitening strips. Many patients are not satisfied with the results they achieve using this method.

2) Whitening custom trays. The patient applies a small amount of gel in the tray for 20-30 min per day. The whitening achieved is reliant on patient compliance.

3) In office power bleaching. The dentist applies the whitening product in office. A high concentration of hydrogen peroxide is used.

Patient confidence levels increase with whiter teeth. Don't hesitate to ask us for more information about whitening options during your appointment!

How does whitening work?

Diffusion of hydrogen peroxide into the tooth structure causing teeth to whiten. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water and oxygen radicals in seconds, penetrating the enamel and dentin of the tooth. It reaches maximum strength at 30 minutes. Whitening is more effective at treating yellow teeth than grey teeth.

Will whitening cause any harm to my teeth?

Whitening may cause sensitivity, ranging from a mild reaction to cold to a severe lingering pain. Patients with a history of tooth sensitivity may wish to do a pre-treatment of desensitizing toothpaste placed in the whitening trays for 2 weeks prior to whitening. The desensitizing toothpaste can also be placed in the whitening trays and worn daily 1 hour immediately after treatment.

Bassett, J.L. (2017). Tooth whitening. Create value and help patients achieve their esthetic goals. Inside Restorative, 13(11), 63-67

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