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No other cosmetic method is requested as much as whitening with 15% of the population having done it. It's easy, quick and relatively inexpensive and has immediate results. Check out the two most common forms:
Teeth Whitening (at our office)
If you are a candidate or bleaching we may suggest a procedure that can be done in our office. This procedure is called chair side bleaching and takes about 30 minutes to one hour though may require more than one office visit. So what does it entail?
With chair side bleaching we administer a protective covering to your gums then apply to the teeth a strong bleaching agent, which is reapplied every 15 minutes. It is common to have some sensitivity to cold or biting even for up to a week after bleaching. Sensitivity is usually mild and should not stop a patient from gaining the benefits of whitening.
Teeth Whitening (at home)
There are several types of products available for use at home, which can either be dispensed by your dentist or purchased over-the-counter.
Bleaching solutions - These products contain peroxide(s), which actually bleach the tooth enamel. These products typically rely on percent carbamide peroxide as the bleaching agent; carbamide peroxide comes in several different concentrations (10%, 16%, and 22%).
Peroxide - containing whiteners typically come in a gel and are placed in a mouth guard. Usage regimens vary. Some products are used for about twice a day for 2 weeks, and others are intended for overnight use for 1-2 weeks. If you obtain the bleaching solution from your dentist, he or she can make a custom-fitted mouth guard for you that will fit your teeth precisely. Currently, only dentist-dispensed home-use 10% car amide peroxide tray-applied gels carry the ADA Seal.
You also may want to speak with your dentist should any side effects become bothersome. For example, teeth can become sensitive during the period when you are using the bleaching solution. In many cases, this sensitivity is temporary and should lessen once the treatment is finished. Some people also experience soft tissue irritation—either from a tray that doesn't fit properly or from solution that may come in contact with the tissues. If you have concerns about such side effects, you should discuss them with your dentist.
Toothpastes - All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives. "Whitening" toothpastes in the ADA Seal of Acceptance program have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these ADA Accepted products do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth.