Dental Whitening

Changing the shade and brightness of your smile is one of the quickest and easiest cosmetic procedures possible. Because of this, many of our patients are very interested in whitening their teeth. In the past options were limited in this aspect, but technology has advanced giving us more tools. I wanted to take an opportunity to summarize the different options available so that our patients can select the whitening option that is best for them.

Custom Made Whitening Trays- This is the most tried and true method of whitening teeth. It begins with the fabrication of custom made trays that you will use to load whitening gel into during your treatment. The trays are fabricated by taking quick alginate impressions of your teeth. These impressions are used to form stone models. Using a thermal forming machine, we make custom trays on these stone models of your teeth. The trays are trimmed in a very specific manner so that none of the whitening gel is held in contact with your gum tissue. This is a tedious and exacting process, but it is vital for the success of the procedure. After a day or so, you will return for the delivery of your custom trays and your whitening gel. You will load the trays with the gel and wear for approximately 30-45 minutes per day. We use only the best whitening gel, Opalescence 35%. This is very strong and effective whitening gel. It does have some extra ingredients mixed in to help combat sensitivity, the most common side effect of whitening. In addition, after we make your impressions for the trays we coat your teeth with a fluoride varnish that will combat sensitivity. This is all included in the fee. Custom made whitening trays are very effective for most patients. Whitening begins occurring after the first treatment and continues. Most patients whiten for about 5-10 days, depending on how quickly their teeth respond to the gel. Generally, patients have plenty of gel in the initial pack to whiten to their satisfaction and have left over gel for future touch ups.

Zoom! Whitening- This method is an in-office technique that whitens teeth quickly. Zoom! does not whiten teeth any more than custom trays but it will achieve the same effect faster. In a Zoom! procedure, your teeth are isolated using various products so as to protect the gum tissue. Strong whitening gel is applied to your teeth and a special light is used to activate the gel. Three sessions of about twenty minutes will be performed. The entire process takes about 90 minutes. Because the whitening is being done all at one time, sensitivity can be an issue. A treatment with fluoride varnish a few days before the Zoom! procedure will help to reduce this. Usually, we like to make custom trays to go along with the Zoom! procedure to allow for future touch ups of your whitening.

Kor Power Whitening- This method allows us to whiten stained teeth that has not previously been possible. For people with teeth stained developmentally with excessive exposure to things like antibiotics or minerals, whitening has been out of reach. With Kor Power Whitening we can now remove these areas of mottling, banding and staining. This method involves both custom made trays and in-office whitening procedures. Because the whitening gel used in this method is very very strong, the custom made trays must by made in a very special way. The trays are made by a special laboratory from specially made impressions. Again, this method is for people with special and intense staining from developmental exposures or years of neglect. Kor Power Whitening does take time. There are several visits involved in the process, but the results are outstanding.

It is important to note that no dental whitening is permanent. We all consume various amounts of stain-producing food and drinks on a daily basis. Coffee, tea, soda, red wine, berries, tomatoes, etc all cause build up of extrinsic stain in teeth. These stains build up over time and push older stains deeper into the tooth. The whitening process initially bleaches all of these stains out of the teeth. After whitening your teeth initially, we recommend touching up your bleaching for 1-2 sessions every six to eight months. The touch up is done using your custom trays and whitening gel. Usually 1-2 sessions of 30-45 minutes will bleach out all the new stains that have built up.

If you are interested in whitening your teeth, set up a free consultation and we can help you determine which whitening option is best for you!