Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry
Tooth Whitening/ Bleaching

Your smile is important. It's one of the first things you notice when you meet someone. A whiter, brighter smile is beautiful - it can help you feel better about yourself and make a memorable impression.

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.  In-office bleaching is also available.  It is a method of achieving white teeth that Dr. Pollack or her highly trained staff will administer over a period of one to two hours. 

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.

Tooth whitening is not permanent.  Your lifestyle and the aging process can stain and darken your teeth.  A touch-up maybe needed every several months, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.

Reasons for tooth whitening:

  • White spots caused by hypocalcification or fluorosis
  • Normal wear of outer tooth layer
  • Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.)
  • Yellow, brown stained teeth

What does tooth whitening involve?

In office bleaching/ chairside whitening is a simple process.  It begins with a short preparation of covering your lips and gums, leaving only your teeth exposed.  Dr. Pollack or her staff will then apply the whitening gel to the teeth which is designed to be used with a high intensity light.  The light and the gel work together to gently penetrate porosities in the teeth, breaking up the stains and the discoloration.  During this time you may relax, watch TV or listen to music.  Depending on the brand of gel used, several applications may be necessary during the one to two hour bleaching process.  Dr. Pollack recommends take home whitening trays for maintaining your brighter, whiter smile.

Take home tray 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 either twice a day for 30 minutes 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.  Be sure to discuss any discomfort that you may experience with Dr. Pollack as there are many ways to help resolve or prevent sensitivity.

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


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