Service - Tooth Whitening

tooth whitening santa cruzTooth whitening, also called bleaching, is a procedure that brightens teeth that are discolored or stained or teeth that have darkened in color because of injury. Whitening can be performed on living teeth or teeth that have had root canal treatment.  At home whitening is effective for most patients.  However, there may be some patients for whom tooth whitening is either not effective or not the preferred method of treatment.  With at home whitening the dentist makes custom fitted trays for your upper and lower teeth that holds the whitening gel, which contains approximately 22% carbamide peroxide.  This material is safe, does not harm your teeth or gums, and is recommended for use as a whitening agent by the American Dental Association. 

The amount of whitening that you can obtain depends on three principal factors:

1. The length of time each day that the trays are worn

2. The number of days the trays are worn

3. The susceptibility of your teeth and their internal colors to the whitening agent

The trays can be worn a maximum of two times each day for 45 minutes each, the time of day chosen by the patient.  However, the amount of time per day that the whitening gel is applied may vary according to your needs and our recommendation.  For example, if your teeth become overly sensitive (i.e. a temporary increase in sensitivity to cold, air, etc.) we may advise you on a different treatment regime and/or to use an intermittent topical fluoride to reduce sensitivity.  However, this is not necessary for most patients.

Lastly, If you want to whiten your teeth, the best place to start is with a healthy smile.  Tooth decay, sensitive or cracked teeth, infections or periodontal (gum) problems should be diagnosed and treated before any tooth whitening procedure.  Otherwise you could experience discomfort.  The whitening process may aggravate existing problems. 

If you think whitening may be for you, please contact our office today for an appointment.  We would love to discuss your options.