Bleaching live teeth that are discolored can be a very effective procedure, but you should know some important information before deciding to have this procedure accomplished on your teeth:
- Bleaching in the dental office occurs slowly and requires one or more 30 to 60-minute appointments.
- Bleaching may be somewhat uncomfortable during and for a short time after the procedure.
- Slight to moderate discolorations can usually be removed successfully.
- If discoloration is severe, crowns or veneers are usually more acceptable to lighten tooth color.
- Bleached teeth will require retreatment occasionally to maintain acceptable color.
- Some teeth whiten easily, while others do not; the only way to determine the bleaching potential of your teeth is to accomplish the bleaching procedure.
- Bleaching is the most conservative and least expensive procedure available to lighten live, stained teeth.
- Teeth whitening at home is an alternative to in-office bleaching, and it should be considered.
The Clinical Procedure:
- One or more 30 to 60-minute appointments are required. Each appointment is the same and is at least 7 days apart.
- Anesthetic is not used.
- A tooth isolation plastic is placed each time to isolate your teeth.
- Bleaching solution (concentrated hydrogen peroxide) is placed on the isolated teeth.
- Teeth whitening is accomplished by the action of the concentrated hydrogen peroxide over a short period of time.
- Bleaching solution (concentrated hydrogen peroxide) will be applied several times during each appointment.
- The isolation material is removed and your appointment is finished.
After the Procedure:
- Immediately after each bleaching appointment, your teeth will be lighter than they will be 24 hours later due to dehydration. The color will return to somewhere between their dehydrated, bleached color and their original, darker color.
- The teeth may be sensitive for a few days because of the heat and bleach application. In hundreds of bleachings over 30 years, we have not experienced any long-term damage to teeth from bleaching.
- You may require more than one bleaching appointment. In some cases, we may suggest more appointments for an optimum result.
- If slight color returns after a period of months, rebleaching may be needed.