Dental Services > High-Tech Dentistry > Cosmetic Dentistry > Teeth Whitening  

Teeth Whitening

Years ago, the only way to bleach teeth was in the dental office. Today, when it comes to a whiter, brighter smile, you have a variety of options. You can use over-the-counter (OTC) whitening toothpastes and bleaching systems. They may whiten your teeth, but it will take years or decades. OTC bleaching systems do not use custom trays, and you may be ingesting more bleaching agent than what remains on your teeth. What causes tooth discoloration? The most common causes include aging, consumption of staining substances (coffee, tea, tobacco, and colas), trauma, nerve degeneration, old restorations, and poor oral hygiene. During tooth formation, consumption of tetracycline or excessive fluoride may also cause tooth discoloration. People with most types of discoloration can achieve lighter teeth. The type of stain you have will affect how much whitening you will experience.

There are two effective modalities commonly used in practice today. In-office tooth whitening offers optimum results in the shortest amount of time. The gel is placed on your teeth, then you relax. Dr. Lipkin will do the rest. You will have a brighter smile and whiter teeth before you leave the office. In-office tooth whitening is designed to fit your schedule. You can customize whitening to fit into your busy lifestyle. In-office power whitening can be done in about an hour, during lunch break or even before work. If further whitening is desired after your treatment, use of a take home whitening system can be worn for a few nights.

Whitening Before   Whitening After
Discoloration spoils an otherwise attractive smile.
A whiter, healthier smile after a One-Hour Whitening treatment.

For those with the time and inclination, a take home whitening system is used from a few days to four weeks for effective whitening. Molds of the mouth are taken and custom bleaching trays are made. The whitening agent is placed inside of the tray and the tray is then placed over your teeth for two to four hours or overnight if you wish. Most of the time, immediate results are seen after one in-office visit, or, if used at home, results are realized in just a few days.

For people who have yellow teeth, it is not realistic to obtain teeth that are as white as a piece of white paper. What you can expect is a result that is about two shades lighter than what you have now. Even with the most sophisticated system, there is variability in results, i.e. 3+ shades lighter to no change at all. As this is a cosmetic procedure, the bleaching cannot guarantee you a specific result. Bleaching is a very safe, generally low cost, generally effective and very conservative cosmetic treatment. If you do not get the results you want alternatives are bonding, porcelain veneers, and capping.


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