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Archive for September 2013

In-Office Whitening

The last whitening option that we will discuss is in-office whitening.  As the name implies, the whitening is done in the office and the procedure takes approximately 1 hour.  Since the treatment is done in the office, the highest concentration of peroxide is used to achieve a maximum whitening affect. Typically, a hydrogen peroxide of about 40% is used on the teeth. A protective material is placed on the gums to prevent the gel from irritating them.  The application is repeated 3-4 times within the hour until the desired affect is achieved.  With some systems, a light is used to activate the gel, but studies have shown that in-office whitening with or without the light achieve the same effect.

The results vary and what I have found is that to achieve the maximum effect, this treatment has to be done in conjunction with take-home whitening.  This way, the results are more dramatic and longer lasting as well.  For this reason, at Soho Dental, we always include take-home whitening trays and gel for our patients who have the in-office treatment.  This also allows them to touch up the whitening at home from time to time.

Many of you might have seen tooth whitening being offered in aesthetic spas, at the airport etc. Be careful of any claims that are made.  As a dentist, I can use the highest strength products and despite this, the results are variable. This is why, a proper assessment before treatment is essential so that that you can have an idea as to what kind of result to expect.

The pictures below show the results after 1 hour of in-office whitening.  These results are typical.  The teeth will whiten further as the patient continues  the process at home with the take home whitening trays as described in the previous post.

white1jpgBefore 1 hr whitening

white2After 1 hr whitening

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions regarding tooth whitening!

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Custom Tray Whitening

The next whitening option that we will discuss is also one of the most popular.  This type of whitening is commonly referred to as take home whitening or custom tray whitening.  Typically, a mould is taken of the teeth and then thin flexible trays that fit very precisely over the teeth are fabricated.  The trays are comfortable to wear and fit very well as they are made from impressions of your teeth. The whitening solution, again a hydrogen or carbamide peroxide is placed in the trays and the trays are worn for about an hour a day for 10-14 days.

The advantage with the custom tray whitening is that the whitening solution is well contained in the tray. Therefore, a peroxide solution of much higher concentration can be used.  As a result, the degree of whitening is greater than with over the counter products that have a lower concentration of peroxide.

We use a carbamide peroxide gel of 16% to 35 %.

The side effects are very similar.  Tooth sensitivity is common but transient and it does go away after the whitening period. The take home gel that we use does have ingredients to help reduce the amount of sensitivity that occurs.

The trays are long lasting and can be used for touch up treatments for many years after the initial treatment.

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