Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Want Whiter Teeth?

What are Your Options?

     Our office receives many calls inquiring about teeth bleaching. This article is a summary of how bleaching works and the options available for bleaching from our office.

Over the Counter Bleaching Agents: These bleaching agents, such as Crest Whitestrips will bleach the teeth. A newer product are varnishes which contain bleaching agents. Over the counter bleaching agents contain a relatively weak solution and will require much more time than other bleaching materials. Toothpastes are not very effective due to the short contact time of the toothpaste on the teeth. Our office has Crest WhiteStrips Professional Supreme available. These are a stronger whitestrips than what you will find at the store.

Bleaching Solutions in Custom Trays: Impressions are taken and a custom tray is made to fit the arch to be bleached. Solutions of different strengths are available for placement in the trays. The time the tray must be worn can be as short as 30 minutes per day for the stronger solutions to as long as overnight for the weaker solutions. We currently use the Opalescence bleaching solutions for the custom trays.

In Office Bleaching: This technique involves isolating the teeth and placing a strong bleaching solution on the teeth. This procedure can be done with or without light. Most all research shows no last advantage when using a light, such as Zoom. In spite of some product's advertisements, which suggest satisfactory bleaching after one appointment, usually at least three appointments are needed. This is an effective technique for those who do not want to wear trays. It has the disadvantage of being more expensive and requiring trips to the dental office.

Combination of In Office and At Home Bleaching: This procedure combines an in office bleaching with a home bleaching tray. This combination will give the fastest results and is indicated as the technique of choice for very difficult cases. We have had great results with the KöR bleaching system for the more difficult cases. This technique packages and ships bleaching material differently than other companies and has a slightly different technique for making the trays. We have found this technique can effectively bleach very dark, discolored teeth. We have successfully bleached tetracycline discolored teeth using the KöR bleaching system. The tray must be worn for extended times on difficult cases. Periodically, once every six months to a year, the trays should be worn with a bleaching solution to maintain the lighter color. The most common side effect is sensitive teeth. This problem is more common with light activated solutions but is reversible with time and treatment. KöR technique has solutions to minimize this sensitivity problem.

Interested in trying one of our available bleaching techniques? Call our office at 
859-744-0320 to learn more!

By Billy C. Ballard DMD

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