One question that patients often ask is ‘what’s the difference between teeth bleaching and teeth whitening?’
The answer is simple – if we do it in the office, it is a bleaching procedure. If you do it at home with “white strips” or a similar over-the-counter technique, it is teeth whitening.
There are many reasons for tooth discoloration, including:
- Black teas and coffee
- White and red wine
- Sports drinks and carbonated beverages (both dark and light-colored sodas)
- Foods including berries and other strongly-colored foods; sauces (soy, tomato, curries)
- Certain medications
In-Office Teeth Bleaching
One of the most popular cosmetic procedures we offer at Toothdocs Dental, teeth bleaching is 100 percent safe and an easy, effective way to rejuvenate your smile. In the office, we use a system called Zoom! In-Office Whitening. There are some benefits to this system, including:
- Specially formulated to target both surface and deep-set stains
- All teeth are treated simultaneously
- Faster treatment times over other whitening systems
- Long-lasting results
- Reduced sensitivity
First things, first
We always recommend starting with a routine dental cleaning to make sure we have the freshest “palette” possible, clearing away any plaque and surface debris and between teeth. While doing this, we are also making sure that there are no potential problems, such as cracks in the teeth, decay or gum irritations. If there are, we’ll take care of these before the moving ahead with the bleaching.
During your pre-bleaching assessment, we will also make note existing dental work, such as crowns and veneers, which typically will not respond to conventional whitening agents. Lastly, we will measure the color of your teeth against a shade guide. This helps us to determine the progress of the treatment.
Once we know we’re cleared to go, your teeth are “painted” with a hydrogen peroxide-based bleaching gel, with special attention paid to the “esthetic zone” – those teeth most visible when you smile. After this gel is applied to the teeth, an overhead lamp delivers UV light to the area, breaking down the activated solution. This allows oxygen to enter the enamel and dentin, bleaching the colored substances while leaving the structure of the teeth intact.
The gel is applied for three 15-minute sessions of light activation for a total treatment time of 45 minutes. Immediately afterward, a sensitivity-reducing fluoride paste-gel is applied to the teeth. To help maintain your whitened teeth, we use either the Day White or Night home system, which includes a custom-molded whitening tray and advanced tooth whitening formula.
Still want to know more? Give us a call (Roslyn LI:516.625.0088) (Manhattan:212.969.9490). We can answer any questions, set you up with an appointment and get you on your way to a brighter smile. Or, you can leave us a note in the comments below or reach us on Facebook.
Our next blog post will explore the at-home options for teeth whitening.
*New Patients Only