Teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.
Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth. The most popular method is using a home teeth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically. Since teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth.
Teeth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up may be needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.
Reasons for teeth whitening:
Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
Normal wear of outer tooth layer.
Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.).
Yellow, brown stained teeth.
What does teeth whitening involve?
At Northeast Connecticut Dental Associates, we offer two types of at home tooth whitening. One where flexible trays are custom made to the shape of your teeth.
This type of teeth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear, plastic, trays.
At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with special whitening solution either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening.
A second type of whitening that we offer uses a pre-made, soft flexible adhesive strip that has the bleaching gel preloaded into it. You simply remove the strip from its package, apply it to the surface of your teeth, and then leave it in place for 30 minutes. This process is repeated for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening.
It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.
After assessing your bleaching goals and teeth, we will be able to advise you which method of at home bleaching would be best for you.
You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays or strips, and be encouraged to visit your dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.