Teeth Whitening and Bleaching
Teeth Whitening and Bleaching
Professional Teeth Whitening and Bleaching in Glen Ellyn, IL
Professional teeth whitening is one of the easiest ways to transform your smile. Glen Ellyn, IL dentist Dr. Gibbs can whiten your teeth at the office or you can whiten them safely at home. Both methods start with a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Gibbs. He will check your mouth and determine if your teeth are ready to be whitened.
Bleaching with Trays
In-Office Whitening–Alternative #1
In-office professional teeth whitening involves the application of highly concentrated peroxide to healthy teeth. The procedure is safe (Dr. Gibbs supervises the procedure from beginning to end), effective, and the results are guaranteed. Most people notice a difference in the color of their teeth after only one visit.
Opalencence and Zoom professional teeth whitening treatment is quick and effective—the perfect option for patients who want to look their best for an upcoming event. The procedure is split into three 15-minute sessions. Dr. Gibbs will protect your gums from the bleaching agent before applying peroxide gel to your teeth or using a tray-delivery system.
Your teeth are then exposed to laser or a special lamp to boost the professional teeth whitening process. The bleach is rinsed off and treatment is repeated two more times. At-home touch-up kits are available to maintain your smile.
At-Home Whitening–Alternative #2
Dentist-supervised at-home professional teeth whitening is very popular and affordable. This is a good option if your teeth are sensitive to light-activated teeth bleaching solution or you simply want the convenience of whitening your teeth at home. Your dentist in Glen Ellyn will design a custom tray that fits your teeth. This tray is filled with bleaching gel that comes in different concentrations. You will wear the tray for about 1-5 hours every day for two weeks, or as instructed by your dentist.
- Is it Safe?
- What About Over-The-Counter Options?
- In-Office Method
- Tooth Whitening Products–Professional Teeth Whitening (At-Home Method)
- How is it done?
- Professional Teeth Whitening (Bleaching) and is it safe?
- Tooth Sensitivity & Whitening, Bleaching & Sensitive Teeth
Returning yellowish or grayish teeth to a shining, glistening white is a frequent goal of people seeking cosmetic dentistry. Professional teeth whitening has been done for decades, but as with all other things, science has continued to advance, and today’s procedures are safer and more effective than ever before. Dr. Gibbs offers a combination of long-term experience with leading edge knowledge gained from continuing education in the latest dental techniques and discoveries.
When you are thinking about getting a whiter, fresher-looking smile, several choices are open to you, including home treatments, over-the-counter whitening kits, and in-office professional teeth whitening. Of the three, in-office techniques are the safest and most likely to succeed, since they are carried out in a controlled environment by trained, skilled, knowledgeable personnel.
Read on to discover more about tooth whitening and bleaching in the modern age.
Basic Considerations of Tooth Whitening
Regardless of where or how you ultimately undertake the process of whitening your teeth, there some considerations and warnings that apply to all methods. For example, the teeth need to be assessed and, if necessary, treated for dental problems by a dentist before any regimen of professional teeth whitening is started. An experienced cosmetic dentist should also examine older restorations and the remnants of previous whitening jobs to see if the whitening process needs to be modified to account for these.
Attempting to whiten teeth that have cavities (caries), decay, hidden decay between the teeth, gum recession, or periodontal disease can cause oral damage and even more expensive problems. Identify problems (if any) first, then treat them, then whiten is the rational and safe approach to this cosmetic procedure. Pregnant women should also avoid the process.
Tooth Whitening Safety
Except for the medical issues noted above, professional teeth whitening is as safe as most other cosmetic dental procedures. The safest techniques are naturally those supervised by a qualified dentist, regardless of whether they are carried out at home or in the office. Careful modern bleaching practices will not cause changes in the micro-hardness of teeth, nor will they render the teeth treated more vulnerable to decay in the future.
Professional teeth whitening has been scientifically studied for many years, and thousands of successful treatments attest to the fact that it is safe and effective when carried out with common sense and good quality products. However, over-the-counter and Internet products are somewhat riskier, since their chemical composition is not monitored or tested.
The worst side effects usually encountered when using high quality, legitimate tooth whitening products are sensitivity to cold or gum irritation. Means of controlling these are readily available, and they usually last only a brief time after an individual treatment anyway.
Tooth Whitening Products for Whiter Teeth (Carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide)
There are a variety of products used to whiten and bleach the teeth. Most all contain either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. The faster breaching products generally use hydrogen peroxide, and carbamide peroxide actually “breaks down” into hydrogen peroxide). Both are effective, but how they are prepared and mixed into the delivery solution can make a difference. My recommendation:
- Avoid internet products that do not come from establish manufacturers. They are laden with a long list of (often fabricated) testimonials and claims. Your smile is simply too important for the cost of this simple procedure
- Store products and Strips—Many patient have tried theses and some even with good results. Some however find them hard to keep in place and they usually just bleach the front teeth leaving darker side teeth that may show smiling.
- Custom trays—these have to be custom made by the dentist and bleach the side teeth also. The dentist also has to opportunity to determine the safety of the bleaching procedure and the fit/comfort of the trays.
- In-Office bleaching—the faster way to lighten the teeth. See our section on this “power treatment!”
Bleaching Your Teeth at Home with a Tray
If you prefer to get your professional teeth whitening in the comfort of your home, other high quality cosmetic dentists’ offices and we offer home bleaching via the use of trays. A “tray” is a custom-fitted mouthpiece created to match your teeth at the dentist’s office. The tray fits snugly over the teeth, holding the whitening compound in place on the teeth for a specific amount of time. You can choose between varying concentrations of whitening gel depending on your tooth and gum condition and potential for sensitivity, as well as the severity of yellowing or “graying.” Strong concentrations need only be worn for a shorter time, but need strong, healthy teeth to stand up to their strength. Weaker solutions may need as much as five hours per day. A typical course of treatment lasts between 10 and 14 days in total.
Each treatment needs to be tailored to the individual patient. Some considerations include the amount of tooth discoloration, general oral health, how sensitive the person’s gums are, and so on. If sensitivity increases during treatment, typically to hot or cold foods and liquids, a “desensitizing” compound can be utilized in the tray ever other days.
This method usually produces excellent whitening, safe results, and high patient satisfaction.
In Office one Visit Professional Teeth Whitening (Power Bleaching, Zoom, Opalencence,laser bleaching)
In many cases the patient may choose to have their tooth whitening or bleaching done in one visit. In theses cases a tooth bleaching material is chosen that can be precisely applied to the teeth too quickly lighten the teeth. Over the last 25 years many solutions have been used and we have used a lot of different manufactured solutions like Zoom, UltraBrite, and Opalencence. We actually chose the material individually for the patient!
The advantages of in office breaching and professional teeth whitening are:
- Done quickly with total chair time of about 2 hours
- Is well suited for people impatient with daily use of trays
- Need too have results quickly
- Know that they probably would not be consistent with home home trays
- Are prone to gagging for intolerant to tray use
- Had previous sensitivity to home trays
At the end of the visit the patient is still given home trays so that they do at-home periodic “touch-ups.” Obviously the teeth need to be cleaned prior to the procedure, and a dental examination is required to rule out problems that may not be evident.
Over-the-Counter Tooth Whitening Kits
Hawked by grinning celebrities who have reached the end of their careers, or sold by dramatic television ads with extravagant promises and enthusiastic feedback from “mysterious” users named “Jake M.” and “Sara B.” Not only are these testimonials impossible to check on for authenticity, the experiences of a few random users are poor evidence compared to the huge amounts of research and data available about dental office whitening methods.
Here are a few things to consider before using over-the-counter kits:
- There are indeed some reputable brands that provide trustworthy products. Crest White Strips are one example, attaching to the teeth with adhesives and exposing the surfaces to whitening gel. Unfortunately, these only whiten the front teeth, so the side teeth are left unbleached and may show when you smile.
- Often, over-the-counter products have very low concentrations of bleach. Though this makes them a bit safer, it also renders them fairly ineffectual.
- Some kits, on the other hand, use excessively strong or incorrectly balanced chemical formulas, or ill-fitting trays, which can injure your teeth and gums, potentially badly. Be careful to choose established brand names that have existed for decades if you decide to take this route.
- Our recommendation is to use dentist-supervised methods instead.
A Final Note on Tooth Sensitivity & Professional Teeth Whitening
Tooth sensitivity is a big issue with many people thinking about getting their teeth whitened or bleached. Though whitening procedures can cause sensitivity, there are luckily highly effective ways to counteract this, too. Bleaching solutions can be absorbed into teeth, especially those with exposed dentin due to gum recession. Gas may also be released by the process, which can likewise be absorbed into dentin and causes sensitivity.
- Since cavities and decay break the enamel surface and expose dentin, untreated oral health problems raise the chances of sensitivity resulting from whitening treatments.
- Sensitivity is a bigger risk with over the counter treatments.
- Poor fitting, non-custom trays can allow too much whitening compound to reach the gums and can even result in chemical burns.
- Checking for tooth decay first is a good idea in all cases.
- Shorter sessions every second or third day may be appropriate for exceptionally sensitive individuals. This will prolong treatment but will lead to the same results in the end, just not as quickly.
In some cases, desensitizing agents are recommended, though a dentist’s professional judgment is suggested first. The agents used include sodium nitrate, amorphous calcium phosphate, or neutral fluoride. These can be either mixed with the tooth whitening compounds or alternated with them.