Teeth whitening, often called bleaching, is the process of applying an external solution to the teeth to make the outer enamel of the teeth whiter and brighter. Virtually everyone who opts for this cosmetic treatment will see substantial improvement in the brightness and whiteness of their smile. At Groton Wellness we have a number of teeth whitening methods to help you. Let us explain the details.
Teeth become discolored for different reasons. There are two categories of staining as it relates to the teeth: extrinsic staining and intrinsic staining.
The active ingredient in the whitening solutions is hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. The solutions have proven to be very effective and compatible, even with people who have chemical sensitivities.
Non-mint bleaching formulations are available for patients using homeopathics.
Our dentists can evaluate your teeth and smile to determine whether whitening will work for you. For some patients a different cosmetic procedure may better meet your expectations, but in most cases whitening is a safe, fast and easy process that is effective for almost everyone!
You can choose in-office whitening for immediate results, or you can choose self-directed at-home whitening.
For In-Office whitening we utilize the advanced “Opalescence Xtra Boost” system. The whitening is accomplished in a single session with no heat and no light activation necessary. You can also choose to include in the fee for the In-Office whitening, a set of home whitening trays so you can maintain your brightest smile on an ongoing basis.
We will first determine your current tooth shade. Then we will make an impression of your teeth in order to create custom fitted trays for you. We will teach you how to use your custom trays to apply the whitening gel. The trays are so clear and comfortable that most patients find that they can wear them at any time of the day. The at-home whitening process usually takes 2-6 weeks, but most patients will see results after the first treatment. The trays can then be re-used at self-directed intervals to maintain the whitening effect for years to come.
Most patients see a difference in the whiteness and brightness after only one application, and continue the applications for several weeks to achieve optimal results. The amount of time it takes for you will be determined by how stained and discolored your teeth were when you started and how frequently you apply the whitening solution.
The results typically last for many years, but it depends on your habits. If you are a smoker or you are eating many dark colored, staining foods or drinking beverages that restain your teeth, you will need to periodically “touch-up” the whitening with another application of the solution.
At most, some patients experience mild sensitivity in their teeth or gums after the treatments. At Groton Wellness, we recommend brushing with a toothpaste for sensitive teeth prior to application of the whitening gel, and immediately after you remove the custom trays. This has proven to enormously decrease the sensitivity felt by our patients!