Teeth whitening, also known as teeth bleaching, can be done by many different approaches. Some of the common methods for bleaching are:
You can bleach your teeth with over the counter materials like Crest White Strips
A dental office can apply stronger bleaching materials while you are in the dental chair for a bleaching session
Some dental bleach manufacturers offer generic fitting trays filled with whitening materials to use at home, which are available through some dental offices
Custom trays made for in-home bleaching is the most effective system overall, but the trays have to be made properly by a knowledgeable dental office.
Lets walk through some of the advantages and disadvantages of each:
Crest White Strips are purchased over the counter. They can provide some nice color changes, but you can only apply the strips to the front side of the front teeth. At a glance this may give you a decent lighter look, but if you were to inspect the teeth you would be able to see that none of the posterior teeth (bicuspids and molars) will be affected. Even on the front teeth the bleach does not effectively get between the teeth, nor does it bleach the backside of the teeth.
In-office bleaching applied by the dentist or staff uses a stronger bleaching material that needs to be carefully controlled when applied. If it gets on the gum tissue it will create a chemical burn. This will heal but it is not pleasant. With this technique you also will not get the backs of the teeth, nor will you be able to get to the molars. This technique can provide a quick start, but if the dentist does not make you custom trays to maintain the bleaching at home, then you are dependent on the dentist to do the process repeatedly through the years to maintain the desired result. Some of these systems use bright lights during the bleaching process, but research has shown that the bright lights have no affect on the results – they just look fancy.
Generic or prefabricated trays from various manufactures will work, but I have found that you get a mouthful of bleach because the trays don’t fit accurately. When the trays are not made specifically for your mouth, you end up needing to regularly spit out excess material so you are not swallowing it. This system works, but it would not be my first choice. This is a less expensive system for the dental office to supply because they don’t need to make custom trays, but I find it messy and less enjoyable for the patient.
Custom trays and in-home bleaching is probably the most effective. However, correctly made trays are critical. I hate to say it, but most the custom trays I have seen through the years are not made correctly and they greatly compromise the result. Most trays I have seen fit the teeth so intimately that all the bleach gets pushed off the tooth surface and renders it ineffective. At Colorado Precision Dentistry and Orthodontics we use a foam-lined tray that fits your teeth precisely, but the foam acts like a thin sponge, which guarantees a uniform layer of bleach against all surfaces of every tooth. With this system you get a uniform and comprehensive result, and you are not dependent on a dental office to redo the process over and over again. Once you have bleached for approximately two weeks, you may only need to bleach for thirty minutes a day for three or four days a year to maintain it. Just keep your custom trays in your bathroom drawer, and for about fifty dollars per year you can maintain the results!
If you want our caring Team to check out your smile for bleaching options, please don’t hesitate to come in for a no-fee bleaching evaluation.
Check out what others are saying about our Teeth Whitening services on Yelp: Teeth Whitening Highlands Ranch
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