Tooth whitening is a conservative, non-invasive treatment that results in a brilliant, opal smile like those of your favorite celebrities.
Tooth whitening should be considered under these circumstances:
- Yellow, brown or gray staining of teeth
- Stains due to medications
- Stains from excess fluoridation (fluorosis)
Tooth whitening usually requires one 60-minute visit, but might need two or three, depending on the degree of staining. I prefer a combination of in-office and at-home techniques to achieve the desired level of whitening. During your initial (and possibly your only) visit, I will paint a 35% to 38% solution of hydrogen peroxide directly on your teeth, which will then be exposed to a high-intensity xenon halogen light for 20 to 40 minutes. During that same visit I will prepare custom-made trays that you will use at home for 8 to10 days with a solution of 10% to 15% carbamide peroxide. You need to apply them only three hours a day, and they may be worn during sleep. (If worn longer than 3 hours, no harm will occur, because after 3 hours the solution will break down to water.)
Bleaching is not permanent and may require a touch-up every few years. The treatment entails minor, short-term inconveniences—temporary sensitivity and recommended avoidance of the following foods during the one- or two-week bleaching process:
- dark juices, red wine etc.