Your smile can be one of the first things others notice about you. To help patients achieve beautiful, sparkling smiles, our skilled team at Livingston Dental Arts offers professional teeth whitening treatments at our Livingston, NJ, practice.
In-office Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening by your doctor is your best choice when you need immediate whitening results. During this cosmetic procedure, we will place either a protective gel over your gums or use a rubber shield to protect the oral soft tissues. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth and a special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent.
Zoom!® is a professional teeth whitening treatment that gets your teeth an average of eight shades whiter — in just one hour. The treatment is safe, simple, and relaxing! Plus, Zoom!® is championed by dentists and patients as a pain-free process.
There are several types of products available for use at home which can either be dispensed by your doctor or purchased over the counter. They are generally teeth whitening trays (mouthguards), strips, or paint-on products.
These products contain peroxide, which actually bleaches the tooth enamel. Carbamide peroxide is the bleaching agent and comes in several different concentrations (10%, 16%, and 22%). Peroxide-containing whiteners typically come in a gel and are placed in a mouthguard. Some products are used twice a day for 2 weeks, while others are intended for overnight use for 1 to 2 weeks. If you obtain the bleaching solution from your doctor's office, they can make a custom-fitted mouthguard for you that will fit your teeth precisely.
Teeth whitening strips are thin, flexible plastic (polyethylene) strips with a thin film of hydrogen peroxide bleaching on one side. Whitening strip kits come with two types of strips: strips for the upper teeth and strips for the lower teeth. The bleaching agent is applied by placing the strips across your teeth and gently pressing the strips into place to insure contact with all your teeth. Teeth whitening strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day. The duration of treatment will vary.
Paint-on teeth whitening allows you to apply a bleaching agent directly to your teeth without an appliance or strip. You simply "paint" the whitener onto the surface of clean, dry teeth and wait about 30 minutes while the paint turns to a dry film. To remove this film, you simply brush your teeth with a toothbrush. Paint-on whitening products require twice-daily applications to be effective. The duration of treatment will vary. An advantage in this process is that you can selectively paint individual teeth.
Teeth whitening can have minor side-effects and you should speak with your doctor if these become bothersome. For example, teeth can become sensitive during the period when you are using the bleaching solution. In most cases, this sensitivity is temporary and should lessen once the treatment is finished. Some people also experience soft tissue irritation, either from a tray that doesn't fit properly or from solution that may come in contact with the tissues. If you have concerns about such side effects, you should discuss them with the doctor.
It's important to understand that whitening cannot correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellowish teeth will probably bleach well, brownish teeth may bleach less well, and grayish teeth may not bleach well at all. Likewise, whitening may not enhance your smile if you have had tooth-colored fillings or crowns. The whitener will not affect the color of these materials and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. In these cases, you do have other options, such as porcelain veneers. We can review your candidacy for teeth whitening during a personal consultation.
At Livingston Dental Arts, we have been helping patients achieve beautiful smiles for more than 40 years. You can read our patient testimonials to see why patients love working with us. To explore a teeth whitening treatment that is right for you, contact us today.