While a number of home teeth whitening treatments have come on the market in recent years that may brighten your smile, they can’t compare to a professional teeth whitening treatment by one of our hygienists. Here’s why…
It’s important to apply the bleaching agent to perfectly clean teeth. The chemical that actually whitens your teeth can’t work through a layer of plaque and tartar, so a professional cleaning will be required first.
A Stronger Formula
Just as your doctor can prescribe medications that are much more effective than over-the-counter meds, dentists and hygienists are certified to work with stronger teeth whitening formulas than are available to you as a consumer. We’re trained for this to use these stronger formulas safely.
The chemical that makes whitening work is hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Home whitening strips contain a 6% solution of these chemicals. Professional teeth whitening formulas can contain up to 35% but must be applied by a trained professional as misuse can damage your teeth. However, this stronger formula means much whiter teeth that stay white longer.
The Teeth Whitening Process
We’ll place a rubber dam in your mouth to protect your gums before applying the whitening solution. The gel is left on your teeth for a maximum of 60 minutes before we’ll remove it. In some cases, we may apply a second treatment the same visit.
How Many Visits Will You Require?
For most people, three visits over the course of four to six weeks will leave you with sparkling white teeth and with proper at-home care the whitening may last up to three years before you’ll need to come and see us again.
This will vary though depending upon your individual mouth chemistry and habits. We all know that coffee and especially nicotine stain our teeth. If you’re a smoker, expect to need more treatments than the average non-smoker, and to need repeat treatments more frequently.
Professional Treatments are Safer
Finally, you should know that the chemicals used in both at home and professional treatments can cause gum irritation and tooth sensitivity. We’ll assess your teeth and customize your treatment plan to minimize the risk of these side effects.