Frequently Asked Questions

What is tooth whitening?

It is actually a bleaching process that lightens discoloration of enamel and dentin.  They system uses a mild solution containing carbamide peroxide retained in a custom-fitted tray that is worn over your teeth for home bleaching and a stronger peroxide gel and special light for the IN-OFFICE TECHNIQUE.

The IN-OFFICE “Power” bleaching technique utilizing the plasma arc light is the safest, most effective way to brighten your teeth.  What’s even more important for those always on the go… there are NO trays to wear or mess with at home.  No worry about the tooth sensitivity that the take-home gels routinely create.  Instead your teeth are brightened in the comfort of the dental office.

Our GENTLEWHITE™ bleaching system, the unique “Belgian” bleaching gel our office uses, allows for the best results without any fear of sensitivity!

What causes tooth discoloration?

There are many causes.  The most common include aging, consumption of staining substances (coffee, tea, cola’s, and tobacco), trauma, staining, nerve staining degeneration, and old fillings.  During tooth formation, consumption of tetracycline or excessive fluoride may also cause tooth discoloration.

Who may benefit from teeth whitening?

Almost anyone!  However, there are some cases where the treatment may not be effective.  We will determine viable candidates for the process through a thorough oral examination and diagnosis.  Home Teeth Bleaching is ideal for patients who have healthy, unrestored teeth and would like to have a whiter, brighter smile.

What type of stains have best prognosis?

Teeth darkened during aging (brown-orange) respond predictably by lightening approximately 2-3 increments on the dental shade guide.  Other types of stains (fluorosis, smoker’s stain, tetracycline) are also lightened, but results are case dependant.  Routine use of home bleaching prior to placing anterior restorations on older patients may be advisable since subsequent bleaching causes mismatch with existing restorations.

How long does it take before color change is perceptible?

1-3 days for teeth darkened from age & 7-10 days for other types of stain.

Does carbamide peroxide applied in tray bleach teeth?

Yes.  Profoundness of “whitening” results depend on: (1) types of stain; (2) intensity of stain; (3) bleach contact time on teeth; and (4) amount of available active ingredient in the bleach gel.

How does it work?

The gel is placed in a thin bleaching tray that fits over your teeth.  As the active ingredient in the gel, hydrogen peroxide, is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin and bleaches the colored substances.  Only the tooth color is made lighter, while the structure of the tooth is unchanged.

Why is the QUICKSTICK™ Bleaching process unique?

New breakthrough technology allows you to whiten your teeth comfortably and effectively, in only one 10 minute application per day!  For example, you can whiten your teeth while driving to work or watching your favorite TV shows.  And absolutely NO sensitivity as with all the “tray” bleaching systems!

Is the process safe?

YES! Clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth with QUICKSTICK™ under the supervision of a dentist is safe for teeth and gums.  In fact, many dentists consider this whitening process the safest cosmetic dental procedure available today.

How do patients respond to this treatment?

Very positively! Most people desire white teeth.  To bleach faster or as kickoff to home treatment, our state-of-the-art in-office “power” teeth bleaching can be used.  Speak to us about in-office bleaching.

How long does it take?

Results are often seen after the first application.  Ideal results generally occur when the process is continued for 10 to 14 days. 

Are there side effects to the treatment?

Rare!  With “tray bleaching” tooth hypersensitivity, gum irritations, mild TM disorder & nausea/sore throat from swallowing bleach have occurred in many patients.  However, using the QUICKSTICK™, the majority have had no side effects.