Wilma F. Antonio, D.D.S.
Teeth whitening is just that, it is a procedure that makes your teeth whiter and cleaner. Some people refer to teeth whitening as bleaching. We use a whitening solution that is safe for your mouth. There are two ways to whiten your teeth. One way is to have custom trays made that fit your mouth. We teach you how to place the whitening solution in the trays to wear each day at home. The solution slowly oxidizes the teeth and the stains are pulled out of the teeth.
There are different solutions that we use in dentistry to whiten and brighten teeth. The solutions are basically the same ingredient as hydrogen peroxide but in different concentrations. These products are only available in our office and cannot be purchased in drug stores. The higher the concentration of the hydrogen peroxide, the stronger the solution is. Because this solution can cause tooth sensitivity, I do recommend that patients use Sensodyne toothpaste for about two weeks prior to starting the whitening process. The sodium bicarbonate in Sensodyne toothpaste fills up the tubules of the teeth and helps the sensitivity. We also have a solution that we can use in the office to help with the sensitivity.
Another method of tooth whitening is done chairside in the office. This process takes about an hour. We will isolate or protect your gums with a protective covering and then apply the whitening solution to the teeth. We may need to reapply the solution two to three times for about ten to fifteen minutes each time in order to achieve the results that you desire.
The other option is to use a combination of the two methods. This way is desirable because it gives you the immediate boost of whiteness and then using the trays at home makes the results last longer. Once you have the trays and your teeth are white, you can maintain them by using the trays for short periods at home. This will keep your smile bright and white.