Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening (bleaching) is a simple, noninvasive 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 tooth-whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically. Since tooth-whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate the replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so that they will match the newly bleached teeth.

Tooth 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 tooth whitening:

  • Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
  • Normal wear of outer tooth layer.
  • Stained teeth caused by medications (tetracycline, etc.)
  • Teeth that are stained yellow or brown.

What does tooth whitening involve?

It usually takes two visits to get set up for home tooth whitening. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom-made, clear plastic trays.

At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for the proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with a special whitening solution either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks, depending on the degree of staining and the 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.

You will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular visits to Dr. Vann will aid in the life of your teeth and trays.