|Teeth Whitening using home trays
For instructions on using your home bleaching materials click here.
What is teeth whitening, and how does it work?
Teeth whitening or bleaching, is a process by which a gel solution is applied to your teeth resulting in a significant
lightening of the tooth color. This whitening gel releases oxygen, which causes your teeth to lighten.
How is it done?
In our office, we take an impression of your teeth, which
we use to fabricate a very thin custom mouthpiece. The
whitening gel is placed in this mouthpiece, which is worn for at
least 90 minutes a day. Many people find this easiest to do at
bedtime, and bleach while they sleep.
How long until I see results?
Some noticeable lightening will generally occur in 1 to 2 weeks; sometimes as
short as several days
However, 4 to 6 weeks may be needed for maximum color change.
Is it safe?
The medication we use is called carbamide peroxide. It works by
releasing oxygen. It is not like clorox, or an acid or an abrasive toothpaste.
In fact, carbamide peroxide has been used in the mouth for over 30 years, as
a treatment for mouth sores, and gum infections, with an excellent safety record.
Can it damage my crowns or bonding?
Can it lighten my crowns or bonding?
Unfortunately, the color of your crowns cannot be changed. The color
of your bonding theoretically will not change. However, we have seen some
bonding become lighter, probably due to oxygenation of stains in the pores of
the bonding material. If you have bonding and we lighten your teeth, the
bonding may have to be redone.
Are there any side effects?
The most common side effects experienced by a small number of patients include itching, tingling or a mild burning
sensation in the gums, and a temporary increase in tooth sensitivity. All of these symptoms usually disappear during
treatment, and almost always just after completion. The symptoms are mild, transitory, and a small price to pay for a
Does whitening work for everyone?
Some colors of teeth respond better to bleaching than others
Yellow teeth have the best response. Gray somewhat less.
Teeth with very dark gray-brown tetracycline type bands, the least
Our experience has shown however, that most people regardless of the initial color of their teeth will have significant
noticeable lightening if they properly follow the whitening routine.
How long will it last?
The color change of the teeth is relatively permanent. Over time, some slight darkening will resume due to
aging and external factors. Regular dental cleanings and meticulous oral hygiene is very important in maintaining your
new brighter smile. A bleaching touch-up for two or three days once a year, immediately following a dental hygienist
visit, will keep your teeth as white as possible.
Why aren't my teeth naturally white?
Tooth color is often a perception of the individual. Many people whose teeth are well within the normal range
of color, feel their teeth are too dark. Aside from external stain, due to smoking, diet, cavities, dark fillings,
poor oral hygiene or injuries, tooth color like hair color and eye color, is governed by heredity. Also, as we
age our teeth gradually darken.
How can I get more information?
Just ask Dr. Freedman, or any of our staff.
Mark H Freedman DDS Nov. 2000 rev. 4/04
May not be reproduced in part or full without