Teeth whitening is a process of essentially bleaching the teeth with the use of a peroxide-based whitening agent. The active ingredient in the whitening agent is hydrogen peroxide. Sometimes carbamide peroxide is used, which turns into hydrogen peroxide when it comes into contact with the teeth. Hydrogen peroxide increases the porosity of your teeth so it can penetrate through the outer enamel layer to remove intrinsic stains. It does this through oxidation – volatile oxygen molecules in the peroxide break down staining compounds. This allows your teeth to better reflect light again, creating a whiter appearance.
Performed in the dental chair, in-office whitening can lighten the shade of your teeth dramatically in a single one-hour session. Severe discoloration may sometimes require multiple sessions but your teeth can be lightened by up to 10 shades in one appointment.Whether you’re attending a wedding, have a professional opportunity coming up, or need to pose for photos, nothing beats the smile transformation of in-office whitening. We use a high concentration of peroxide to produce significant and instant results that cannot be obtained elsewhere. The whitening gel is applied to your teeth, we will then expose your teeth to UV light to activate the whitening agent, and then it will be rinsed out 60 minutes later.
An alternative to our in-office whitening is the option to come in for a short appointment where we take digital impressions of your teeth and send them to a dental lab. A custom whitening tray is then fabricated for you to wear. You will receive these whitening trays, the whitening gel, and instructions. The gel is applied to the trays which you will wear over your teeth each day for about 2 weeks to achieve similar results. This contains a lower concentration of peroxide, so it is more suitable for patients with tooth sensitivity or those who don’t have an immediate event coming up.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
Yes, teeth whitening is very safe when administered by a dental professional. There are only minor side effects associated with tooth whitening, mainly being tooth sensitivity. When you whiten your teeth with over-the-counter drugstore products, you are at higher risk for damage or irritation to your gums and misuse.
Why Does Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is only temporary. The reason this happens is because of demineralization. Certain minerals are stripped from the tooth enamel through the whitening process which exposes dentinal tubules and causes hypersensitivity. This will only last for about 48 hours until the teeth naturally remineralize. You can take anti-inflammatory pain medication and desensitizing gel before your whitening appointment and continue to brush your teeth with sensitive toothpaste.
The Benefits of Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is cost-effective, minimally invasive, and painless, and can do so much for your confidence and your smile:
Reduce insecurities in your smile
Increase job opportunities
Empower you to be more social
Reduce staining and discoloration for photos
Inspire you to care for your beautiful smile
How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?
It lasts anywhere from 6 months to 3 years because whitening treatments are only temporary. The effects can also dwindle if you constantly reintroduce new stains to your teeth. Limit your consumption of staining foods, drinks, and tobacco products, and get regular cleanings to maintain your white teeth. Call (253) 275-1255 to get in touch with us at Elevate Smile Design today to schedule your whitening consultation with Dr. Jason Perlman or Dr. Karyn Mai.