are two ways patients can choose to bleach their teeth:
home or office bleaching. Home bleaching involves the
fabrication of plastic mouthpieces that look like protective
sport mouth guards. The patient then must wear these
mouthpieces with a hydrogen peroxide based bleach for two
to four hours a day for four to eight days.
Office bleaching is much simpler for patients
though a little more expensive. Patients typically come
in for one thirty to forty-five minute appointments depending
upon the amount of color change desired.
There are no shots or drilling. Patients
will commonly relax to watching TV and listening to music
during the procedure. Color changes are readily apparent after
the first visit. We nearly always use this technique in our
office because of the fabulous results and patient convenience.
We've been doing this procedure for several years and have
found it to be both safe and effective.
Only natural tooth structure responds to
bleaching. Fillings and porcelain will NOT bleach. Patients
need to consider this before bleaching because significantly whiter
teeth may cause your old porcelain and/or bonding to look fairly
It is common for teeth to be sensitive for a few days following
office bleaching. Patients may describe this sensitivity as a momentary
tingling or stinging sensation. This is a common post operative
symptom that usually resolves within a few days. Refer to the section
on Post Operative Instructions for Patients Following Dental Procedures
regarding the use of pain medication if necessary.
Use a Fluoride mouthwash, several times
a day for the week following the bleaching. Avoid tobacco,
coffee, tea and dark colored sodas and staining types of foods.
If you must indulge, drink a glass of water immediately afterwards
to minimize the staining effects.