Teeth Whitening: Cosmetic Dentistry

Teeth whitening is the #1 requested and performed a cosmetic dental procedure.  Whitening can be done in the dental office or at home.

Professional teeth whitening offers tremendous advantages compared to commercially available home treatments.  Teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color 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.  One popular method is using an at- home teeth whitening system using custom trays made in our office that will whiten teeth dramatically.  However, our in-office Sapphire 1-Hour Whitening system provides the quickest and most convenient way to whiten teeth.

Reasons for Teeth Whitening

There are many reasons why teeth become discolored.  The major reasons are listed below:

  • Diet – drinking tea, coffee, red wine or other food or drink with strong colorings
  • Smoking – Smoking and dipping tobacco can result in teeth appearing a yellowish color.
  • Age – As people grow older their teeth become darker naturally.
  • Tooth decay, fillings, and tartar build-up can also be a cause of the changing color
  • Trauma – Teeth have nerves and blood vessels inside them.  If these nerves and blood vessels are damaged the tooth may become darker even several years after the trauma.
  • Medication – Staining can be caused by diseases or medications.  Tetracycline, an antibiotic, will cause a distinct discoloration if given to a child whose adult teeth are still developing.

What does teeth whitening involve?

First of all, your gums must be healthy and any decay must be treated prior to whitening since both of these issues can be a cause of sensitivity during whitening treatments.  Dr. Gamble will determine which patients are good candidates.  Since teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc.  Replacement of any restorations will be done a few weeks after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth.

Teeth whitening is not permanent.  A touch-up maybe needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine. 

In-Office Dentist Supervised Whitening

Our Sapphire 1-Hour Whitening system provides the quickest and most convenient way to whiten teeth.  With in-office bleaching, the whitening product is applied directly to the teeth in combination with a special light.  This treatment is sometimes known as “power” bleaching.  We will place a rubber seal on your teeth to protect your gums.  Dramatic results can be seen after the first treatment.  Most patients are very satisfied with the results of whitening. 

At-Home Teeth Whitening

Custom tray design and quality materials are the cornerstones of professional at-home teeth whitening.  This type of teeth whitening requires us to take impressions (molds) of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear plastic, trays.

The trays are worn with special whitening gel either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening.  It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.

You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit your dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.

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