Teeth Whitening and Bleaching
What is tooth whitening and bleaching?
One of the most common cosmetic dental procedures is teeth whitening and bleaching. Teeth whitening is the process of removing stain from a tooth. Teeth whitening can be accomplished with polishing a tooth, or a procedure called microabrasion. Teeth bleaching is the process of making a tooth lighter using chemical means. A cosmetic dentist can help you decide what is the best method to get the results you want.
What options exist for teeth bleaching?
There are three main ways to bleach teeth.
- Over the counter bleaching. We have had patients get good results with Crest White Strips or Ultradent Tres White.
- Dentist Supervised at-home bleaching. This involves making impressions of your teeth and fabricating a custom made whitening tray. Then together, your dentist and you, will decide when you will wear the trays. The most effective time to whiten is at night. This is because you produce less saliva at night. Saliva can dilute the bleaching agents and make them less effective. Some patients choose not to whiten at night. That's ok. We just need to use a different bleaching gel.
- In-Office Bleaching or Deep Bleaching. This method works best if we plan on two approximately one-hour visits that are spaced approximately 2 weeks apart. During the 2 weeks between appointments we have you whiten at-home using custom made trays. We can provide amazing results with this approach to teeth bleaching.
Does bleaching hurt?Many people that have bleached their teeth in the past report that it made their teeth very sensitive. One of the common side effects of bleaching is tooth sensitivity. It is reversible. We will decide on the best ways to help prevent sensitivity and treat any that arises prior to beginning the whitening process. Generally we can avoid sensitivity or minimize it.
How long will bleaching last?The results of whitening will last a few years. How long it lasts will depend on your diet and how many acidic and staining foods and beverages you consume. The great thing is that if you go through our office for bleaching, we can provide you with whitening gel to touch up your smile as needed.
Is teeth bleaching safe?Yes. In fact, while bleaching you are less likely to get decay and gum disease. As mentioned before it can cause reversible tooth sensitivity for some patients.
How much does teeth bleaching cost?At-home dentist supervised bleaching costs around $196. In-office bleaching or deep bleaching costs around $650.
Will my insurance pay for teeth bleaching?Since teeth bleaching is provided for cosmetic purposes, most patients do not have a benefit for this procedure.
What are alternatives to teeth bleaching and whitening?