Tooth whitening is an easy way to restore teeth to a healthy, youthful appearance. It removes yellowing and discoloration that occurs with age, and for former smokers, tooth whitening helps erase evidence of that habit.
If you’d like whiter teeth, MW Dentistry & Esthetics offers professional tooth whitening that can help you feel more confident in your smile.
Types of Tooth Whitening
People who want to brighten their smile have three options:
- Over-the-counter tooth whitening products
- At-home bleaching kits (provided by a dentist)
- Professional in-office teeth whitening
All three methods involve the application of a whitening solution that contains either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. In-office tooth whitening – also called chairside bleaching or power bleaching – is the fastest way to whiten teeth, because dentists have access to the most powerful whitening agents. At-home bleaching kits usually whiten teeth after one to two weeks of daily use. Over-the-counter tooth whiteners may lighten teeth slightly with regular and continued use.
What to Expect
At MW Dentistry & Esthetics, we want to make sure you’re happy with the outcome of your tooth whitening, so before beginning the procedure, we’ll show you a tooth-color chart and explain the improvement you can expect after one appointment. While it’s possible to lighten teeth by eight shades (or more), some patients require more than one appointment to achieve the results they want.
We polish teeth to remove any surface plaque and use retractors and a gum barrier to protect your gums, tongue, lips, and cheeks from irritation. We then apply the bleaching solution for up to 30 to 60 minutes. This method of whitening is very effective but not recommended for every patient. Please feel free to ask us if this is right for you!
For patients that request an at-home whitener, we can prepare a custom-fit dental tray, whitening solution, and instructions on how to safely use their kit.
Limitations of Tooth Whitening
Tooth whitening is most effective on healthy teeth with superficial yellowing of enamel. If tooth discoloration is a result of internal tooth decay, whitening might not work (but we may be able to create a whiter appearance with porcelain veneers).