Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry services around. It can whiten your teeth by several shades quickly and safely. At Lone Peak Dental Care, our dentist performs a professional in-office whitening by applying a gel to your teeth and activating it by a special light. This process helps to penetrate the pores of your teeth and remove debris and stains that mar the brightness of your smile. Patients typically see results in as little as one appointment, although in some cases, a series of appointments may be required to achieve the desired results.
What Causes Teeth to Become Stained or Discolored?
Everyone will experience tooth discoloration at some point in life, which happens for several reasons. Some of the most common causes of darkened teeth are genetics, food particles stuck in enamel, smoking, and certain medications. When these stains are severe, they can even cause health complications like gum disease and tooth loss. Fortunately, removing these stains with professional-grade whitening treatments is easier than ever. These treatments are safe for most patients and can be completed in just a few appointments.
Different Types of Teeth Whitening
In-Office Teeth Whitening
In-office whitening is performed in the dental office and is a one-hour session with the dental hygienist. With in-office teeth whitening treatment, the patient will leave the office with whiter teeth. The whitening procedure involves a protective guard placed over the gums to protect the soft tissues of the mouth from the whitening solution. An oral gel is then applied to the surface of the teeth and is activated by a special light that speeds up the whitening process. Many patients experience no sensitivity, but those who do may experience tooth or gum sensitivity for up to two days after the procedure.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening
This type of procedure is done at home. Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth and send them out to a lab to be the basis for custom-fit clear whitening trays to be made for you to take home. We will also give the teeth whitening solution, which has the active ingredient carbamide peroxide — which come in varying concentrations ranging from 15% to 35%. We will provide you this solution in the concentration that best matches your unique needs and dental condition. These treatments may take longer, from one to eight hours, depending on the concentration of the gel. Stronger concentrations achieve results faster, but they can also cause more sensitivity. However, with at-home kits, you can continue treatment until you’re happy with the shade of white achieved.
Over-the-Counter Take-Home Kits
Over-the-counter (OTC) take-home kits are also a great option for patients who already have sensitive teeth and are looking for a teeth-whitening solution with a lower concentration than an in-office solution. We offer the Colgate bleaching take-home kit, which should be used for 10-minute sessions every day.
However, the benefit of having your dentist make your trays for a professional take-home kit is that they’re guaranteed to fit properly, so there won’t be any leakage of the gel onto your gums or into your mouth. This is the risk you take when using OTC teeth whitening products that often require you to use brushes or some other applicator to put the whitening gel or solution onto the teeth. In addition, over-the-counter solutions are not customized to the concentration of the active ingredient, which makes them less effective and a waste of your money.
In-Office vs. Take-Home Whitening
In-office teeth whitening is performed at our dentist’s office, where a special light or laser activates the bleaching solution. This is the fastest, most dramatic option for professional tooth whitening. Our dentist may recommend receiving more than one round of treatment to achieve your desired level of whiteness.
At-home tooth whitening kits, on the other hand, are less intense for patients. These kits typically contain a lower concentration of whitening gel than professional treatments, so they take longer to show results.
The Advantages of Professional Teeth Whitening Services
There are several advantages of having your teeth professionally whitened. First, unlike whitening toothpaste and at-home bleaching kits, our professional whitening services will give you dramatically whiter teeth in a short time. Typical results of an in-office professional whitening service include teeth that are six to ten shades lighter after just one treatment.
Professional whitening is also completely safe and does not cause damage to the enamel on your teeth or any sensitivity issues afterward. Finally, professional teeth whitening procedures are much faster and produce longer-lasting results than over-the-counter methods. Our in-office whitening provides results in about an hour, results that far surpass those of over-the-counter products. What’s more, our professional strength products and processes will not cause surface stains to reoccur for several months after treatment.
If you’ve considered whitening your teeth but are unsure if it’s right for you, visit Lone Peak Dental Care at 9853 So. 700 E., Sandy, UT 84070, or call (801) 572-4430 for the best dental care customized to your particular requirements. Our dentist can help you decide what type of whitening is right for you and will provide instructions on keeping your teeth healthy after whitening them.