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Cosmetic Dentistry- Tooth Whitening

Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening or commonly known as bleaching is a very simple, painless non-invasive procedure that is used to mainly to change the natural color of the tooth [enamel (hard covering around teeth)]. Bleaching is an ideal way to change your teeth and lighten them (brighten) many shades, which will greatly enhance and brighten up your smile.

Tooth whitening has been around for quite sometime now, but it has become more popular in the past 10 years. Very quickly bleaching has become the #1 aesthetic procedure and a big concern for most patients. There are a variety of ways of accomplishing whiter teeth. Some people will prefer to use over the counter (OTC) whitening products. These are decent products, refer to our F.A.Q about OTC whitening products here. Some patients ask why they do not bleach as well as they would like to, refer to our F.A.Q about bleaching questions by clicking here. Basically in a nutshell, the potency of the ingredients in OTC whitening products cannot compare to the potency of the products supplied by your Dentist! For a longer lasting whiter smile it is best to ask us about our systems that we use and recommend. We have a few systems we use that have provided patients with the white smiles they have always wanted!

The only downside to tooth whitening is this. Tooth whitening only works on natural enamel of teeth (so it will not work on crowns, or any type of fillings). What you and your dentist would need to do is to sit down (consultation) and decide what you would like to do with your old crowns or fillings. Ideally, you would remove the old crowns or fillings, whiten your teeth to a shade that you are satisfied with. Then, you can go back later and replace the crowns and fillings so the shade matches your new natural teeth color.

Tooth whitening is not permanent. You may need to get them touched up every few years. The whitening of your teeth will fade away over the years, but even sooner if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, wine, soda, or any with a high refined sugar content.

Reasons for whitening your teeth:

- Yellow or brown stained teeth (from smoking, drinking coffee, ect.)
- Normal wear and tear of teeth
- Some medications can stain your teeth yellow (side effects --> dry mouth --> yellow stain)
- Fluorosis (a large excess of fluoridation during tooth development)
- Want to look your best for a special occasion

What is involved in whitening your teeth?

Our system of teeth whitening will typically take about two appointments. The first appointment will be very informative and also we will take an impression of your upper and lower teeth. The impression will take a highly precise mold of your teeth so a dental lab can custom make trays that will fit perfectly to your teeth!

After about 1-2 weeks they are made and sent back to our office. The trays that are made out of plastic, and they will hold the whitening ingredients in them. When your second appointment occurs your trays will be ready to try on. If need be minor adjustments will be made to ensure a perfect fit and to make sure that your teeth get as white as you want them to!

You wear the trays every night for about 30 minutes or if instructed you would wear them overnight. This process will continue for one month or longer. It will all depend on the amount of staining on your teeth and what shade (how light) of teeth you prefer. Some patients will experience a slight sensitivity in their teeth, this is completely normal. Tooth sensitivity will quickly subside after your bleaching is completed.

After the procedure you will be given post procedural care instructions. As with any examination or procedure good oral hygiene practices (diet, brushing, mouthwash, flossing) and regular dental examination visits will be encouraged to maintain the life of your white and bright smile.

Please contact us with any questions you have. Call our office at 630-420-1212 or use this form. Questions will go directly to our Office Manager. Do not send highly private or confidential information.
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