Teeth bleaching is the most inexpensive way to cosmetically improve one’s smile. There are two methods of bleaching — in-office or at-home. The in-office bleaching is quicker, only needing a couple of one-hour appointments, however, the final result is not as good nor the satisfaction percentage, it can cause sensitivity, and it still needs to be refreshed or supplemented at home. The at-home bleaching method is much kinder and gentler. It can take from six weeks, however, the satisfaction rate is twice as high as the in-office procedure. And the tray is available to refresh the bleaching job after a few months to keep those pearly whites continue to sparkle.
At Gangwisch Dental Group, we recommend teeth bleaching with the at-home method. With that technique, we make molds of your teeth and make a custom tray that is made just for you. You will place a small amount of bleaching gel in an extremely thin, clear mouthpiece called a tray. This is placed on your teeth at bedtime and is worn while you sleep. The gel that we use is slightly sticky so it gently clings to the teeth while you doze. The active ingredient is carbamide peroxide which breaks down into hydrogen peroxide once it comes in contact with saliva. The hydrogen peroxide will break down further into harmless water and oxygen. It is the oxygen that will essentially oxidize the stains in your teeth and this lightens them considerably. Since the concentrations in the at-home method are significantly smaller than the in-office way, the incidence of tooth sensitivity is much less. It does take a number of weeks, but once you get to your ideal brightness, it will usually stay relatively stable for a number of months. The usual rule of thumb is to refresh the bleach for two or three nights after each teeth cleaning, which happens (or should happen) every six months.
We do offer the in-office teeth bleaching for those patients who need their teeth whitened fast, such as for an upcoming wedding. At Gangwisch Dental Group, we do not try to put on a fake show with a fancy light. Studies have shown that it’s the hydrogen peroxide that does the teeth bleaching, not the hot light. The heat will greatly raise the amount and intensity of teeth sensitivity. We apply a light-cured paint on a rubber dam to protect your gums. Them we let the bleaching liquid soak into the tooth enamel for three – fifteen minute intervals. We then apply a desensitizer to help minimize any discomfort.