If you feel your teeth show discoloration or have a ‘dull’ or yellow appearance, then tooth whitening may be for you. Tooth whitening is a process of removing stains from your teeth caused by aging and certain foods. This staining can be caused by coffee, tea, red wine, or other dark colored foods. Smoking, some medications, and normal wear and tear also contribute to staining.
Whitening restores the teeth to their natural brightness and, under some procedures, even brighter than their natural shade. We use three different approaches to whiten your teeth. First, you can purchase over-the-counter whitening strips you apply at home. For best results, you should discuss this approach with your dentist before using the strips. These strips are convenient but are not as effective as our other treatments. The second approach is for our dentist to make a customized ‘tray’ from an impression of the patient’s teeth. The dentist then provides the patient with a whitening kit containing a stronger whitening agent than available over-the-counter. The patient then uses the tray and whitening agent at home.
The most effective and quickest method of whitening your teeth is an in-office whitening procedure using the Zoom Advanced Power Chair-side Lamp. With the Zoom procedure, the patient’s lips and gums are first covered with a protective coating. Then, a dental grade hydrogen peroxide whitening gel is applied to the patient’s teeth. Next, the Zoom lamp is shined on the teeth to activate the stronger bleaching agent. As the gel acts to remove the staining and discolorations, the dentist monitors your progress and ensures your comfort. This procedure lasts about 15 to 20 minutes and is repeated. For best results using Zoom, the patient should have his or her teeth cleaned before the procedure to remove layers of plaque. The result is a bright and fresh smile that you will be proud to show. Some before and after pictures can be found in this link.