Having a whiter, brighter smile is one of the top desires of most patients today.
Many people can achieve that goal with teeth whitening - a simple non-invasive treatment that can enhance the beauty of your smile.
Teeth Whitening with Custom Trays
The most popular method uses a custom made teeth whitening tray and prescription strength whitening gel from Dr. Shumway that will whiten your teeth dramatically.
Since teeth whitening only works on natural teeth, your dentist will evaluate your old crowns or other restorations before making any bleaching recommendations. Replacement of any old restorations will be done after whitening so they will match your new, whiter smile.
Teeth whitening may need occasional touch-ups, especially if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine. With your custom whitening trays you can do your own touch-ups at home using the whitening gel that you can get from your dentist at your routine cleanings and check-ups.
To get started whitening using custom take home trays usually requires two visits to your dentist. At the first appointment, Dr. Shumway will examine your teeth and make impressions that are used to make your custom whitening trays.
At your second appointment, Dr. Shumway will check the trays for proper fit and make any necessary adjustments. Then you can discuss your desired level of teeth whitening with Dr. Shumway, who will give you specific instructions on how to use the trays and whitening gel at home to achieve those goals. It is not unusual for some people to experience slight tooth sensitivity during the whitening process. This is normal and will go away shortly after you have stopped bleaching.
Top Questions Our Patients Ask
Will Teeth Whitening Hurt My Enamel?
Current research shows that whitening treatments do not harm the enamel of your teeth. However, these studies were done in a professional environment using products containing only 10 percent of a bleaching solution. Choosing to have your teeth whitened professionally rather than using at-home products reduces the chances of causing damage to your teeth and gums.
Does It Cause Sensitivity?
Some patients experience temporary sensitivity after whitening treatments. Other patients never notice a thing. For most people, the sensitivity is gone within 48 hours. If you find that your teeth are sensitive after tooth whitening, you can ease discomfort by using special toothpaste or going longer between treatments.
How Long Does It Take to Get Teeth Really White?
Professional treatments can whiten teeth in less than an hour. However, people with severely stained teeth may need more than one treatment to get their teeth to their brightest shade. Other types of treatments may take several weeks to get your teeth white. The length of time for whitening depends upon many factors. They include your natural tooth color, your lifestyle habits and the type of treatment option that you choose.
Can I Whiten Restorations?
Only natural teeth can be whitened. This means that fillings, crowns and bridges will remain the same when you use one of these treatments. When these are in a visible location, it is important to work with your dentist to determine how a whitening treatment will affect your smile. In some cases, whitening will return the rest of your teeth to a color that matches your restorations. In other cases, you may need to have your restorations replaced at the same time you whiten your teeth.
Will My Teeth Stay White?
You can usually expect your teeth to stay white for anywhere from six months to two years. However, this all depends upon your lifestyle habits. People who drink and eat stain-causing foods such as coffee and red wine may notice their teeth changing colors within as little as three months. Keeping up with your regular dental cleanings helps to keep teeth white for as long as possible.
Whiter teeth are possible with professional treatments that transform a dull and aging smile into one that is beautiful.