Teeth whitening is a cosmetic treatment used to improve the discoloration of the teeth and improve the appearance of a patient’s smile. Whitening treatments work to remove stains from the teeth and lighten the shade of tooth enamel through bleaching agents such as hydrogen or carbamide peroxide.
Professional whitening treatments contain high concentrations of peroxide for effective and instant results without the risk of damaging the soft tissue inside of your mouth. If you’re interested in achieving a whiter smile today, contact us.
Temporary tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening is a normal side-effect caused by demineralization of the enamel. It will dissipate within a few days.
Dr. Charles Kim will discuss your whitening goals and examine your teeth. Dr. Kim may take x-rays to look for signs of tooth decay or gum disease.
For take-home whitening trays, we will take digital scans or physical molds of your teeth and send them to a dental lab to create custom-fit trays.
A peroxide-based whitening agent will be applied to your teeth by Dr. Kim for in-office whitening. If you are receiving a take-home whitening kit, you will apply the whitening agent to the inside of your trays as per the written instructions.
After Dr. Kim applies the whitening agent to your teeth, it will be activated with exposure to UV light. This process may be repeated a few times to achieve the desired results.
Once we have received your custom-fit whitening trays, you will return to the office to pick them up. You will receive written and verbal instructions on the usage of your whitening trays.
A whitening treatment performed chair-side at the dental office will produce the most intense and instant results. We protect your gums and cheeks with the use of protective gels and cheek protractors which prevent the whitening agent from coming into contact with anything but your teeth.
We then apply a peroxide-based bleaching agent to your teeth and activate it with UV light, repeating this process as many times as necessary. For teeth that are severely discolored, you may need multiple whitening sessions but most people will only need one. In a single one-hour appointment, we can lighten your teeth by up to 10 shades.
If you have sensitive teeth, live a busy lifestyle, or are just looking for a more convenient and flexible option, we offer take-home whitening trays. These trays are created from impressions taken of your teeth for a customized fit that fits snugly over your teeth and doesn’t overlap with your gums.
The concentration of peroxide is slightly lower for take-home whitening which will result in less tooth sensitivity. The patient will apply the whitening gel to their trays and wear them over their teeth as per the instructions each day for 1-2 weeks. Your teeth will become gradually whiter each day over these 2 weeks and you never even have to leave your house.
About 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and nearly 40 million Americans have lost all their teeth.
Because over-the-counter whitening trays aren’t custom-tailored to the individual, they can result in splotchy, uneven results and damage your gums.
On average, a whitening treatment can last anywhere from 6 months to 3 years. Why such variability? Well, it all comes down to lifestyle and maintenance. After you undergo a whitening treatment, it would be wise to avoid indulging in habits that will introduce more stains to your teeth.
This will only negatively affect your newly whitened teeth. Cigarettes and tobacco products should be avoided entirely, as they cause yellowing of the teeth, increase your risk of oral health problems, and are bad for your overall health.
The biggest staining culprits when it comes to diet are red wine, coffee, tea, soda, berries, dark sauces, and fruit juices. Try to limit your consumption of these foods and drinks or sip through a straw to limit the contact they have with your teeth.
An important part of whitened teeth maintenance is attending dental cleanings every 6 months. A dental cleaning is a type of natural whitening treatment itself because it removes the buildup of surface stains on your teeth.
During a cleaning, we also remove the buildup of plaque and tartar, which are yellow substances that form around the teeth. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll preserve your whitening treatment for much longer.
Teeth whitening is perfectly safe if done under the guidance of a dentist. We only use ADA-approved whitening materials in the appropriate dosages and application times. The only side effect that you can expect from a professional teeth cleaning is tooth sensitivity.
However, if you opt to use a drugstore whitening tray, many of these are not ADA-approved and can be easily misused, causing damage to the soft tissues in your mouth as well as your teeth.
At the dentist, we use safe concentrations of peroxide in our whitening agents but we cannot say the same for any whitening product you’ll find over-the-counter. It’s important to look for the ADA seal of approval and carefully follow instructions.
Yes, tooth sensitivity is a very common side effect of whitening treatments. The reason this happens is that the peroxide increases the porosity of your teeth through demineralization. Through this process, the microtubules in your teeth are exposed and these are what are connected to the nerves in your teeth.
As a result, it’s normal to experience hypersensitivity for the first 48 hours, until your teeth have naturally remineralized. We recommend applying a desensitizing gel and taking anti-inflammatory pain medication before your whitening treatment. You can also use toothpaste for sensitivity that helps restore the minerals to soothe the nerves.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening causes less tooth sensitivity because of the lower peroxide concentration.