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Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.

Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth.  The most popular method is using a home tooth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically.  Since tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc.  Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth.

There are many reasons why teeth become stained or discolored, including tobacco use, and drinking dark liquids such as red wine, coffee, tea and cola.  However, the natural aging process and prescription medication use can also cause yellowing and graying.

There are literally hundreds of whitening treatments available in the marketplace, including take-home strips, bleaching toothpastes and take-home whitening gels.  Many take-home gels are ineffective and may not elicit the desired results.

 

 

Types of Professional Whitening We Offer:          

 Bleaching Before  Bleaching After

Watch Video of Home Bleaching!

 

This type of tooth whitening usually requires two visits.  At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear plastic, trays.

At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary.  The trays are worn with special whitening solution containing carbamide peroxide for either 1-2 hours/day or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening.  It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.

You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit us regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.

 

Zoom! one-hour in-office whitening:             

A pearly-white smile is beautiful to look at and can greatly improve self-confidence.  Many people are opting for the Zoom!® Chairside Whitening System (Zoom!®) for fast, safe and effective teeth whitening.  Zoom!®combines the newest advances in dental technology with proven chemical formulas. This ensures that the bleaching experience is painless, and the results are satisfying.

Zoom!® has many advantages over other treatments, including:

 Zoom Whiten
                                        

  • All teeth treated simultaneously.
  • Faster treatment times.                                                                                                        
  • Long lasting results.
  • Reduced sensitivity.
  • Removal of surface stains on crowns, veneers and other restorations.         
  • Safe procedure and treatment.
  • Treatments are performed by an experienced professional.

 

How does Zoom!® whiten the teeth?          

Zoom!® is a bleaching process that lightens the dentin and enamel of the teeth.  Zoom!® contains a hydrogen peroxide component (25%), which is the active ingredient in the gel.  When hydrogen peroxide is applied to the teeth, the peroxide component breaks down into tiny oxygen bubbles.  It is these bubbles that eliminate yellowing and staining.

A  metal halide light is used to activate the gel and expedite the whitening process.  This specialized light contains a unique infrared filter that works to reduce the amount of heat (and therefore sensitivity) on the surface of the teeth during the procedure.  The internal structure of the teeth remains completely healthy and intact during and after the treatment.

As with any whitening system, the post-treatment results can vary according to the degree of staining and the condition of the teeth.  A consultation with Dr. Cheek prior to treatment will provide information as to what kind of results Zoom!® can provide in specific instances.  Zoom!® is only applied to healthy teeth and gums.  If tooth decay or gum disease is an issue, these need to be controlled before the bleaching treatment is performed.

How is the Zoom!® treatment performed?

Prior to treatment, there will be a consultation where the dentist will outline the exact procedure.  On treatment day, a deep cleaning (prophylaxis) will be performed to rid the teeth of any debris and plaque.  Then, special eyewear will be provided to protect the eyes from the halide light, and splashguards to protect the clothing from the bleaching agent.

Here is a brief overview of the Zoom!® procedure:

  1. Cheek retractors will be placed to expose the entire surface of the teeth.
  2. The gums will be painted or covered to reduce sensitivity.
  3. Dr. Cheek or her assistant will apply the whitening gel to the teeth.
  4. The halide light will then be applied to activate the gel.  This specialized Zoom!® light can be positioned to work on all the teeth simultaneously.
  5. After 15 minutes, gel will be removed from the teeth and more gel will be applied for another 15 minutes.
  6. Again, the gel will be removed and then the final treatment of gel will be applied for 15 minutes.
  7. The gel will be removed for the final time, the mouth thoroughly cleansed, and a fluoride treatment applied.

What happens after treatment?

The same external factors that caused some of the discoloration in the first place can quickly work their way back onto the teeth.  For this reason, Dr. Cheek recommends flossing once a day, thorough cleaning with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day, and occasional touch-up treatment with the take-home trays that are given with the Zoom! process.  These post-treatment measures will ensure that your smile stays at its whitest for a long time.

If you have questions about the Zoom!® Chairside System or take-home tray bleaching, please ask us. Women who are pregnant or lactating should not bleach their teeth during that time.