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Tooth 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. The most popular method is using an at-home tooth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically in as little as 2 weeks. We also have the Zoom! In-Office Teeth Whitening System (as used in Extreme Makeover and Style by Jury) which can lighten your teeth by up to 8 shades in as little as 2 hours! Since tooth 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 after whitening so they will match the newly whitened teeth.
Tooth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up maybe needed every several years or months (or more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or red wine).
Reasons for tooth whitening:
Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
Normal wear of outer tooth layer.
Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.).
Yellow, brown stained teeth.
Tooth whitening usually requires at least two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear plastic, trays. Photographs will be taken and a shade match to the current colour of your teeth will be noted.
At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. With the at-home tooth whitening system, the trays are worn with special whitening solution either twice a day for 30 to 60 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. With the Zoom! In-Office Teeth Whitening System you will only need the trays for at-home maintenance of your newly whitened teeth.
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. We recommend patients who are using a tooth whitening product to use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth and receive a fluoride treatment at your follow-up appointment. Your follow-up appointment will also include final photographs and shade match. 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.