The number one requested cosmetic dental procedure is whiter teeth. Stains from food and drink, tobacco, age, medications and trauma can cause darker-looking teeth. Teeth whitening is a simple process. Peroxide, either hydrogen or carbomide, is applied to the teeth. Oxygen molecules penetrate the enamel and break the stain molecules down, lightening the teeth on both the inside and the outside. Cosmetic dentists know that this is the first step to enhancing your smile.
A 2005 clinical study found that a bleaching light and peroxide on the teeth can increase sensitivity. Numerous studies have shown that peroxide on its own is just as effective without the bleaching lights.
Over-the-counter whitening products may contain enamel damaging ingredients such as acid. Whitening toothpastes do not remove the stain from within the teeth and may have abrasive particles in them causing damage to enamel. Studies have shown professional gels from your dentist are proven safe and effective. The best results come from daily use of these gels for approximately two weeks to see a noticeable improvement. These gels are inexpensive compared with other cosmetic procedures such as veneers or crowns.
Here is an example of one of our patients who used our take-home whitening gels for two weeks.