Your smile is your single greatest asset! It is the first and often the last impression you will make. A beautiful smile not only is contagious, it conveys happiness, confidence and sincerity. Shouldn’t yours be the best it can be?
Teeth whitening (“bleaching”) involves the placement of a whitening solution on the teeth to eliminate stains and discoloration. The solution is held in place by a custom-made, see-through tray that fits over the teeth – much like a mouthpiece worn by a professional boxer.
Whitening is a safe, effective and relatively easy means of producing a whiter smile. Teeth whitening involves the placement of a whitening solution on the teeth to eliminate stains and discoloration that normally occur over time. Two In-Office whitening methods are available based on your discoloration: Power Whitening with KöR Deep Bleaching and Boost Whitening. There is also a third option, the Custom At-Home-Whitening, which provides for home use (not to be confused with over-the-counter whitening products available).
Basic Teeth Whitening Methods
Three basic whitening methods are available at Smile Secrets: Power Whitening with KöR Deep Bleaching or Boost Whitening by Ultradent both done in our office, and Custom At-Home-Whitening, with Opalescence by Ultradent is for home use (not to be confused with over-the-counter whitening products available in local West Seattle area drug stores).
The difference is the strength of the whitening agent and the time it takes to get effective results. KöR Power whitening is powerful enough to remove even purplish-brown stains of tetracycline, previously considered impossible to whiten. It takes 2 visits, spaced 2 weeks apart. Boost is a 1 time, 3 hour in-office procedure, while home whitening may take up to four weeks or more of daily or every other day use. “Dabbling in whitening only occasionally will not usually give you results you love.
Considerations Before Whitening Your Teeth
Sensitive teeth, or those that are chipped, eroded or weakened by cavities, should be repaired or protected before you whiten.
Options for Whitening Teeth
The number of whitening options available on the market today are dizzying! You may become fatigued trying to research all of the different options for whitening your teeth. Let Dr. Chellis and your Smile Secrets Team guide you through the maze! Here are some basic guidelines to follow when considering whitening your teeth.
First, consult with us before you whiten. Sometimes disease or decay causes teeth to darken. If you whiten your teeth without first visiting Dr. Chellis, you may mask the disease or decay. This will allow the problem to worsen and may result in the need for more extensive and expensive treatment, or – even worse – the loss of your tooth or teeth.
Dr. Chellis offers several teeth whitening options and will customize a whitening treatment for you based on your individual needs and desires. These include one of our two in-office procedures: our “KöR Deep Bleaching”, which is amazingly effective even for the most problematic discolorations, our Boost whitening, our Zoom Whitening, or the Classic Sheer White take home system.
Teeth whitening lightens the color of teeth whether darkened from age, coffee, tea or tobacco. Its brightening effects can last for three to five years after the treatment depending on your personal habits, such as smoking or drinking coffee, tea or red wine. Teeth whitening has a higher than 90% success rate and results vary depending on your skin tone and eye color. Whitening will not lighten fillings or artificial materials used in dental repair as for crowns, porcelain veneers, etc. You may want to wait to whiten if you have sensitive teeth, periodontal disease, or teeth with worn enamel. And whitening is definitely contra-indicated if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
Research over the last fifteen years has proven dentist-supervised tooth whitening to be both safe and effective. The American Dental Association’s seal of approval has been given to a wide range of tooth whitening products. Generally, the only side effect from treatment may be some temporary tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods or gum sensitivity especially noticed with the higher concentrations of whitening gels. If this occurs, step down in the concentration of the gel you are using and let us know so that you can add a desensitizer to your whitening process. Sensitivity normally disappears within 48 hours.
Dr. Chellis uses only whitening products that are tough on stains but gentle on your teeth! Different variables like beginning shade of your teeth, your level of tooth sensitivity, your overall goals for your smile and your commitment to the whitening process should be discussed before selecting the best whitening system for you.
Dr. Chellis stays in touch with advances in whitening technology and overall dental technology. By the way, technology has made Laser-Whitening nearly obsolete! It still works, of course, but simply is no longer necessary! Split-arch studies were done recently at a whitening symposium at Loma Linda University, comparing laser-assisted and plasma-arc light assisted whitening on one side and the newer gels without light on the other side. The results showed no statistical benefit from the laser or light! When the advances prove to be better for patients, Dr. Chellis will invest in the technology, however Zoom or Bright Smile types of lights are unnecessary.