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Regardless of how well you care for your teeth, it is inevitable that, over time, some yellowing or discoloration will occur. This gradual change can be caused by aging, substances that stain your teeth (such as coffee, tea, red wine, or tobacco), excessive fluoride, or the deterioration of a tooth’s nerve. A tooth whitening treatment can be performed either as an at-home, dentist-supervised process, or in the dentist’s chair. While neither of these methods stops future discoloration, these treatments bring about whiter teeth and help create a more vibrant smile.

At-Home Whitening

The most popular method of whitening teeth is the at-home, dentist supervised option. During your visit to the dentist, he or she takes a mold of your teeth and creates a comfortable, customized mouth tray. The mouth tray is filled with a solution whose main ingredient is generally carbamide peroxide in a low concentration, a substance that reacts with water to release a non-toxic bleaching element (hydrogen peroxide). The mouth tray ideally only covers the teeth avoiding contact with the gums. Patients either wear the mouth tray throughout the night or for stretches that last from half to one hour verging with the strength of the bleaching solution. When the mouth tray is worn throughout the night, results are seen sooner.

In-Office Whitening

The alternative method for whitening is a procedure performed at the dentist’s office. This treatment generally involves coating the teeth with a paste-like form of carbomide peroxide in a higher concentration and activating it with light or heat. This technique generally takes one hour in the dental chair and often involves no further at-home treatment. While more convenient than take-home treatment, it is expensive and the results are immediate.

Patient Concerns

Patient’s teeth may feel a heightened, but temporary, sensitivity. The gums may also feel more sensitive or burn slightly. Not all people experience the quality of whiteness they had hoped for on their first treatment and they may require a “touch-up” treatment. Whitening treatments begin to fade in three to four years. It should be noted that tooth whitening treatments have no effect on the artificial materials used for bonds, veneers, or capped teeth.

Clinical cases

  • Ceramic veneers

    29-year-old patient that comes to our office unhappy with her smile and dental esthetics. She is looking for a conservative and esthetic dental treatment. Patient had some defective composi...

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  • Esthetics clinical cases

    66 year old patient comes to our office with the chief complaint: “I want to have white teeth”. Patient presents wear facets on the teeth due to his bruxism habit. Considering the diffe...

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  • Esthetics clinical cases

    Replacement of the broken part of the central incisor after a traumatism without involving the pulp....

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  • Esthetics clinical cases

    Patients may dislike their teeth color and wear. We can definetively improve their appearance and helth with a non-invasive treatment with ceramic veneers....

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