Thursday, September 22, 2011

TRUTH about tooth whitening

TRUTH about tooth whitening

Our practice has received many questions concerning different methods used to whiten teeth. The purpose of this page is to educate our patients about the differences between whitening methods.

There are two main methods to whiten or "bleach" teeth.
The first is the tray method. This method uses a thin clear flexible plastic tray. The purpose of the tray is to apply a uniform layer of whitening agent to the enamel. The trays are used at home 6 hours a day (overnight) for 7 days.

Advantages of the tray method:
lower cost
less discomfort while whitening
less sensitivity after whitening
teeth are not as white after the first day as with the heating light method.
The second method uses a light to heat up the bleaching agent. Examples of this method are Zoom® and BriteSmile®. This method uses two steps. In the first step the patient is seated in the dental chair, their mouth is propped open, the teeth are coated with whitening agent, and the heating light is aimed at the front teeth for up to three hours. The second step uses the trays as described above.

Teeth are whiter after the first day compared to the tray method in 1-2 hours.
higher cost
mild to moderate discomfort during in-office treatment.
the whitening agent used in the office can burn the gums.
increased chance of moderate to severe sensitivity after treatment. The use of pain medicine is often necessary after treatment.
flouride must be applied to teeth for 2 days after procedure to reduce post-bleaching sensitivity.
Research proves that there is NO DIFFERENCE in whitening effectiveness between the two methods. Your teeth will get just as white using the tray method alone as they will using the heating light method which is quicker. I recommend periodic 1 hour touch up every 3-6 months keep the teeth their whitest. Here at the office of Dr Richard C Lage DDS PA, we are proud to offer ZOOM and Nightwhite are our preferred teeth whitening methods. Our patients have been completely satisfied with the results over the past years. Please keep us in mind if you are considering any teeth whitening procedures.

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