Tooth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the colour of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.
Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth. The most popular method is using a home tooth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically. Since tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to understand that old fillings crowns etc. may need to be replaced. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly whitened teeth.
Tooth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up maybe needed every several years, and more often if you smoke or drink coffee, tea, or wine.
Reasons for tooth whitening:
Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
Normal wear of outer tooth layer.
Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.).
Yellow, brown stained teeth.
What does tooth whitening involve?
This type of tooth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear plastic, trays.
At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with special whitening solution either once or twice a day for 30 minutes to one hour or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. It is normal to experience some tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.