How do Dentists Whiten Teeth?
You are not the only person that has looked in the mirror and thought about getting a brighter smile.
The way we feel when we’re laughing with friends or smiling for pictures leaves a lasting impression on ourselves and others, but years of eating, using tobacco, and drinking beverages with high pigments such as red wine, coffee, or tea may have taken a toll. Fortunately, professional teeth whitening may be able to help.
The Different Types of Teeth Whitening Procedures
It may surprise you to know there are different types of teeth whitening procedures. They include:
In-office teeth whitening is one of the most effective ways you can obtain a whiter smile. Your dentist’s gel contains whitening agents that are a lot stronger and can produce results that are more effective than over-the-counter products.
These are the steps to in-office whitenings:
- Once your dentist has cleaned your teeth they will conduct an oral examination to check for gingivitis, tooth decay, or fractures that may need to be treated before your teeth can be whitened.
- The dentist puts a cheek retractor in your mouth, then paints your gum tissue with a hardening resin or liquid rubber dam to prevent any irritation the bleaching gel could cause.
- Bleaching gel is applied and stays on for 15 to 30 minutes before being washed off. Fresh gel is used for another 15 to 30 minutes.
- To start the bleaching process, your dentist may shine a light on your teeth.
- Your teeth are checked intermittently to ensure they are whitening properly. Your dentist might have to apply more bleach.
- Your cheek retractor is removed after a final gel application, and your dentist will take a first shade change measurement. Your “true whiter colour” should develop after roughly two days.
- Depending on whether the desired whitening occurred, you may need to follow up with more in-office treatments or try take-home whitening trays.
Take-Home Whitening Trays
Take-home whitening trays can provide you with a convenient and cost-effective way of whitening your teeth from the comfort of your home. They may be a great option for you if your insurance company doesn't cover dental teeth whitening or if in-office teeth whitening is cost-prohibitive.
You’ll first need your dentist to take an impression of your teeth to create custom-fitted trays, which take about one to two weeks to produce. You’ll place the trays in your mouth and leave them in for an hour a day over a two-week timeframe. At the end of the process, people typically notice better results when compared with over-the-counter options.