In our practice, Albert Mendez DDS PA, we are asked quite regularly abut tooth whitening. The questions are usually the same. How does it work? How long does it take? How long does it last? Are there any side effects? Will I be able to play the piano after the procedure is done?
There are three major ways to whiten teeth. The first involves using a “white strip”. It requires you to wear a very clear, thin plastic that is impregnated with whitening material. You wear the strips for about 30 minutes, twice a day for up to three weeks If you have relatively light teeth with very little surface stains these work great. We have many patients who use these are are quite satisfied with the results. They come in a variety of brand names. The most common, being Crest White Strips. These can be purchased at your local store where dental care products are sold. Crest also has Professional Crest® Whitestrips® Supreme that are only available in dental office. They are stronger than the ones bought in stores, and hence, tend to be more effective. We have these on hand and available for our patients. The results of this method are good under the correct situations. Heavy tea, coffee and dark cola drinkers may notice an improvement, but not as much as those who do not partake in these activities.
The second method of whitening makes use of custom-fitted trays. After taking an impression of your teeth, a plastic tray is made. Whitening material is placed in these trays and worn from 30 to 60 minutes each day. The average patient will notice significant shade change in as little as 2 weeks. These materials contain a peroxide-type material. You can feel the bubbling action as the stains are removed from your teeth. These are stronger materials and are more effective, however, some patients report a temporary cold sensitivity. As soon as the product is discontinued this sensitivity goes away. We proudly recommend and provide the Opalescence Tooth Whitening System.
The third method involves the use of an in-office technique. After isolating your teeth a thick material is applied to your teeth and is light activated. This 60 minute, Zoom technique is performed in one visit. You can go here to see a video about this procedure. The results are amazing. Like the custom tray technique, there are some reports of a transient cold sensitivity. This is usually short term.
Your lifestyle determines how long the whiteness will last. EACH will require periodic touch ups; how often is up to you. Most people report a one week reapplication each year is all that is required to maintain a beautiful, youthful smile. Call our office at (620) 231-6070 to schedule an appointment to determine which technique will work for you. You can also check us out online a www.pittsburgkansasdentist.com to learn more or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.
Note: Your ability to play the piano will not be affected in any way as a result of using any of our whitening materials!! (This can be either good news or bad news for you!!)