Teeth Whitening

Tooth whitening is a popular and conservative method of removing dental stains and whitening teeth. There are two principal ways of teeth bleaching:

1. Power bleaching: This form of teeth bleaching involves high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. The most common teeth bleaching agent for power bleaching is hydrogen peroxide at concentrations of about 30 to 35%. Due to their caustic nature, these tooth whitening materials have the potential to cause soft tissue injuries, which usually heal uneventfully within 1 to 2 weeks. Therefore this way of teeth bleaching is performed only in the dental office with appropriate protection of the oral soft tissues. Recent studies have shown that intense light sources as used for in-office teeth bleaching elevate the temperatures of the dental pulps and may affect tooth sensitivity and pulpal health. The dental pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue.

2. Professional teeth bleaching at home: This is a more common way of bleaching teeth. It involves custom-made bleaching trays and syringes containing a safe bleaching gel. Teeth bleaching gels for home use are usually of thick viscosity, pleasant-tasting, and contain carbamide peroxide at different concentrations. Tooth whitening involves two short office visits. The first one is for taking impressions for the custom-fabricated trays and the second one to pick up the trays and the bleaching agent. One needs to wear the gel-containing trays only two or more hours for a few days. The teeth bleaching results on yellow/brown teeth are most dramatic.

Some patients may experience some sensitivity which usually diminishes during the course of treatment. Some teeth bleaching gels contain potassium nitrate which seems to reduce tooth sensitivity. Teeth bleaching at home has no influence on the enamel wear rate. Carbamide peroxide does not damage surfaces of existing fillings. However, remember that fillings don't bleach. In severe cases of dental staining, such as tetracycline stains, even a combination of power bleaching and professional teeth bleaching at home may not yield desirable results.

Back to Information Pages

Dr. Ronald Cunning DDS, Dr. James Chen DDS, Dr. Gerald Koven DDS and Dr. Peter Montemarano DDS - Providing services in cosmetic dentistry to the areas of Montclair, Upland and Ontario, California (CA).

  • 9595 Central Avenue
  • Montclair CA 91763
  • Ph. 909.624.9087
  • Toll Free. 877-41smile
xhtml 1.0 | css