Have you ever looked in the mirror or at a picture of yourself and thought your smile could be whiter? Dr. Wright can discuss several whitening options with you during an exam. Whitening may not correct all shades of tooth discoloration—yellow-brown shades bleach well, while gray-blue shades don’t bleach optimally—and doesn’t change the shade of existing restorations such as fillings or crowns.
If Dr. Wright determines you’re a candidate for whitening, your options are:
- Home bleaching, after we make custom trays from impressions of your upper and lower teeth. We then demonstrate and dispense a kit that contains a peroxide gel you’ll wear for one to two hours daily for one to two weeks until your teeth reach the desired shade, which can be two to three shades lighter. Note that:
- You can do touch-up whitening using the custom bleach trays as needed but preferably after dental cleanings, when teeth are free of stain and buildup.
- We choose your home bleach gel concentration from three options, depending on the sensitivity of your teeth: 10, 15 or 22%.
- In-office bleaching, which is a higher concentration of bleach. Usually left on the teeth for 20 to 30 minutes, it can lighten teeth up to a shade in this one application. It is best used with home bleaching as a “jump start” to the whitening process.
- Whitening toothpastes, which don’t change the shade of teeth through a chemical process but rather, use mild abrasives to remove surface stain.