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Is tooth whitening right for you?

Advanced dental techniques now provide consumers with exciting, new options for enhancing their smiles. Revolutionary methods are now available for bleaching teeth to make smiles sparkle!

Teeth bleaching or whitening lightens the color of teeth whether darkened from age, coffee, tea or tobacco.  Bleaching has a higher than 90% success rate. Bleaching is tough on stains but gentle on your teeth! Results vary depending on several factors such as teeth stained from smoking; from taking certain medications such as tetracycline during tooth development; or from fluorosis, a condition occurring in the presence of too much fluoride.

Bleaching will not lighten fillings or artificial materials used in dental repair as for crowns, porcelain veneers, etc. Your dentist may discourage treatment if you have sensitive teeth, periodontal disease, teeth with worn enamel or if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.


Tooth whitening options

There are generally two types of whitening procedures: take home kits, and in-office treatment.  The decision as to which one is best for you can be discussed with your dentist, but is generally influenced by cost and treatment time.

Take home kits provide the same results but take longer to achieve.  This can range from a few days to a couple of weeks.

Laser or light based in-office treatments allow the teeth to whiten instantly.  A take home kit is usually included to allow you to do “maintenance” whitening a few times a year.

Generally, the only side effect from treatment may be some sensitivity to hot and cold foods, normally disappearing within 48 hours.


The steps to a bright smile

Your dentist will first examine your teeth and gums and discuss the procedure best suited to your individual needs. Any cavities or gum problems must be treated before bleaching can begin.

The in-office method generally takes between 1½ to 2 hours and results in an immediate and noticeable change.

For the at-home method, special molds will be made of your teeth, used to make custom-fitting flexible trays holding the bleaching gel comfortably in your mouth.

When you get your bleaching trays, you'll receive instructions about wearing them. These must be carefully followed. Only the materials provided by the dentist can be safely used.
Smile. Your teeth will radiate a bright new look



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