Need a quick “pick-me-up”?

By Dr. Elizabeth Fleming
January 15, 2014
Category: Uncategorized
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The Holidays are coming! What better way to brighten your smile, than with a quick bleaching of your teeth!

There are a few different techniques that can be done to accomplish whiter, brighter teeth.  Are you a do-it-yourself person? Then over-the-counter bleaching strips or take home whitening kits may be the answer for you.  The main difference between OTC strips and Professional strips from the dental office is in the concentration of bleach.  The stronger the bleaching solution, the quicker the whitening is accomplished.  The professional strips offer the highest concentration of bleach, so will give you the biggest bang for your buck.  The cost ranges from $40-99.

There are also bleaching toothpastes, rinses and gum that propose to whiten your teeth, but remember the bleach is most effective when in contact with your teeth.  In these OTC forms, the bleaching result will be negligible.

In office bleaching trays with professional strength bleaching solution are the most popular in our office.  (Cost is around $199-250.) Not only are the trays custom made for you, but we can vary the concentration of the bleaching solution to achieve the desired results.  Once your teeth have been whitened, put your trays away until you need a touch up (usually 1 year). You can get a touch-up kit of bleaching solution to use inside your trays, for next to nothing! (or approximately $50)

If you are needing to whiten for an upcoming event such as a reunion or wedding, consider in office power bleaching, which can dramatically change the color of your teeth in one sitting.  Because it uses one of the highest concentrations of the bleaching solution for a short time, sometimes coupled with a light, it is possible to have more sensitivity during this bleaching technique than with the others.  This is a one time exposure to bleaching, so often we recommend following up with take-home trays to reach the desired final shade.  Cost for power bleaching ranges from $399 and up, power bleaching and trays $499 and up.

The bleaching solution is generally either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide.  How quickly you whiten and what shade you can bleach to, are dictated by the starting shade of your teeth.  What are the possible complications, you ask?  Sensitivity while bleaching can occur.  You may also experience gum irritation from the bleaching solution.

Keep in mind that crowns, veneers, bonding and white composite fillings do not bleach, so be careful if you have any of these conditions within your “Smile Line” where you will be bleaching.  Avoid any cosmetic dentistry until 2 weeks after the completion of your bleaching process, to allow the color change to stabilize before final shading of your newly whitened teeth.  Yellow root surfaces are very difficult to bleach, as are tetracycline stained teeth.  Avoid bleaching if you are pregnant or nursing.

Treat yourself to a whitening procedure, to “brighten” your day!

To answer any other questions about bleaching your teeth, call our office.  We can make a great impact on the power of your smile!

Dr. Elizabeth Fleming & the staff at Desert Ridge Smiles: 20950 N. Tatum Blvd. Ste 280, Phoenix, AZ  85050  480-860-4300