A series of commonly asked questions.
What is in-office Teeth bleaching?
In office teeth bleaching is a technique wherein the patient comes into the dental office and the dentist performs the whitening procedure chair side. In this technique, the bleaching gel is applied to the teeth and it is activated with a light. The light could be a high intensity plasma arch light, it could be a laser, or it could be a special proprietary light like Zoom or Sapphire. This system works for patients who gag who cannot tolerate any whitening trays in their mouth, or patients who want their teeth whitened in a very short time, and prefer to get it done in the office. In-office teeth whitening allow the patient to walk out with a bright white smile quickly in only an hour long visit. Home teeth whitening take a long time of continuous use of the trays and gels.
How soon can I expect to see teeth at their whitest?
How long it takes for teeth to become their whitest depends on how deep the external stains are. If someone has really dark yellow teeth, it will take them longer and they have to consistently whiten with in office whitening and take home whitening trays. On average we say 10 days is what it would take for someone to get their teeth noticeably white if they are using home whitening kits provided by the dentist. Off the shelve teeth whitening product may work but would take even longer.
As far as how long with the whitening last, it depends on the oral hygiene habits of the individual. If the patient drinks a lot of dark coffee or smokes, the whitening results will not last long. If patients are meticulous in their oral hygiene and watch their colored beverage intake, whitening can last for a very long time. All they will need to do is touch up whitening, which can be done after their regular oral hygiene with the dentist. When the dentist has polished the teeth, they can touch up the whitening for a couple nights, and that should keep the whitening at its whitest.
Why do dentists recommend that teeth bleaching or the use of whitening strips be avoided during pregnancy and while nursing?
When a woman is pregnant or nursing we do not recommend they use bleach or whitestrips as the active ingredient may enter the breast milk or cross the placenta and may cause some harm to the fetus. Since the studies have not been conclusive, to play it safe we recommend that pregnant women or a nursing mother’s do not bleach their teeth or use whitestrips for the safety of their baby.
Will the shade of dental veneers be affected by bleaching gel?
Unfortunately no, bleaching gel cannot whiten the veneers. Veneers are made of porcelain and porcelain attains its final state when it is baked and glazed in the oven. So once the porcelain has been through the oven it will not change the color.