Front teeth, the 6 to 10 teeth most easily seen when you talk or smile, are the teeth that can benefit most from an in-office “power” tooth whitening. Just as with back teeth, if there are medium- to large-sized fillings in the teeth, it is probably better if these teeth were protected with crowns. The in-office power whitening procedure is one of the most conservative and least expensive methods to attempt to lighten tooth color back to a more acceptable appearance.
The procedure involves isolating the teeth to be whitened and protecting the gum tissues and lips. A whitening solution is then mixed and applied to the teeth. The type of application and number of appointments depends on the type of whitening system we believe will be best in your situation.
Most patients show great improvement after only one treatment. Since the protective biofilm that normally covers the tooth enamel is removed during the whitening procedure, you should avoid smoking and drinking pigmented liquids (coffee, tea, red wine) for about 24 hours after the whitening is completed. After 24 hours, the biofilm is usually back in place. The final color will usually regress one shade in the first 1 to 3 months, with most of the change coming in the first week. Some teeth may need a second appointment (or a combination of in-office and at-home tray system whitening) to achieve the desired result. The degree of whitening for any tooth is variable and impossible to predict. However, recent studies show that 97% of all patients who whiten their teeth are happy with the result. The color change should be satisfactory for 3 to 7 years.
If you have dental restorations (crowns, bonding), the plastics and porcelain will not change color. You may need to have some of those fillings redone once your teeth are lightened. We will let you know whether you can expect to have some fillings replaced due to the color change. If you are going to have fillings replaced, you should wait at least 2 weeks after the whitening is completed for the tooth color to stabilize before new restorations are placed. Some postoperative sensitivity is possible, but it usually disappears quickly. The tooth enamel or dentin is not damaged by the whitening process. We offer KoR In-office Whitening and ZOOM! In-office Whitening.
We will discuss your particular needs and make the appropriate treatment recommendations.
If you have any questions about in-office power whitening, please feel free to ask us.