Patient Library - Teeth Whitening
A Whole New Reason to Smile
Although most people would like to smile with confidence, knowing their teeth are white, shiny, and healthy looking...most people's teeth are also prone to discoloration over time. Aging, drinking coffee or tea, and using tobacco are some of the top culprits behind this. Fortunately, there are a number of simple teeth whitening methods that are simple, effective, safe, and quite long-lasting. Our at-home Opalescence® system, for example, utilizes a 10, 15 or 20% carbamide gel that oxidizes upon contact with stained tooth enamel, cleaning the stains without altering tooth structure in any way. In fact, the Opalescence system is rated among the fastest and most comfortable at-home systems available.
If you're considering whitening your teeth, simply ask Dr. Kaiser or Dr. Hoehner how the results could impact your particular situation. He'll discuss with you the criteria for best results, recognizing that some people are simply better candidates than others for a successful whitening treatment. For example, if your teeth are darkened to a yellow, brownish or orange tinge due to age, coffee, tea, or smoking, chances are very good that you'll be very satisfied with the results of your whitening. In fact, about 90 percent of patients find this to be the case. However, if your teeth are a dark gray tone from fluorosis, smoking or tetracycline use, whitening results may be less dramatic. Further, it's important to know that whitening does not lighten artificial materials such as resins, silicates or porcelains. Finally, sensitive teeth, teeth with periodontal disease, and teeth with worn enamel typically do not respond well to whitening.
Our first step toward helping you obtain a lighter, brighter smile is to make an impression of your teeth. We send this to a dental laboratory to create a comfortable, lightweight, customized whitening 'tray' appliance--comfortable enough to be worn night or day, during conversation, working, sleeping, etc. And what's even more important--the trays' customized fit assures an even gel distribution and continuous, close gel contact with your particular teeth. After they're fabricated, we'll simply provide you with the proper whitening materials, and a schedule of recommended session lengths. With some Opalescence systems, you may experience a difference in just a few days; depending on the session lengths and your particular teeth, the process may also require several weeks.
Most people are absolutely amazed at the beautiful difference a whiter, brighter smile can make. And although we can't predict exactly how light your teeth will become, we generally expect to see a two-shade improvement as indicated on our office shade guide. Of course, it's important to note that you can best preserve your new, brighter smile by eliminating any habits such as smoking, drinking coffee, and drinking tea. If you do notice that your teeth are less bright in one to five years, you can choose to have a touch-up. In fact, the second procedure is usually less costly than the first, as the original teeth whitening trays may often be reused. Second treatments generally require less treatment time, as well.
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