Whitening takes from 30 minutes to one hour per visit. It is virtually pain free and requires no anesthetic. To protect the mouth, a gel-like substance is applied to the gums and a rubber “shield” is placed around the necks of the teeth. A chemical solution is then ‘painted’ on the teeth. A special light, focused on the teeth for 20 to 30 minutes (at five minute intervals) helps activate the solution.
Advantages of Whitening
The advantages of tooth whitening over other procedures that whiten teeth are that it doesn’t require any tooth structure be removed and it is the most economical. Even teeth that have had root canals can easily be whitened. Whitening, which has been practiced for more than 15 years, has virtually no side effects.
To get the best results, whiten your teeth a shade lighter than you desire, since they will tend to darken slightly with time. Anywhere from 2 to 10 visits may be required to complete the process.
You should avoid stain-causing beverages such as coffee and tea for several days after the procedure, because your teeth may more readily absorb stain at that time. Daily brushing and flossing and regular professional cleanings–along with occasional touchups keep your teeth white so that you can again feel confident in exercising your smile.
There are also home bleaching kits available in our office which allows you to bleach your teeth at your convenience. Please ask Dr. Tully about this option if it best suits your needs.