Tooth whitening is a well established procedure in cosmetic
dentistry. Furthermore, carbamine
peroxide, the active ingredient, has been safely used for many years in the treatment of gums and
other oral tissue. The whitening process is effective on most discolored teeth. Darker stains, such
as those caused by antibiotics, may take longer to respond to treatment. The degree of whiteness
will vary from patient to patient, depending on the structure of the teeth, the number of
applications, or the duration of time that the system is used.
1. What Is Tooth Whitening?
Its a bleaching process that lightens discolorations of enamel and dentin. The system uses a mild
solution retained in a custom fitted tray that is worn over your teeth.
2. What Causes Tooth Discoloration?
There are many causes. The most common include aging, consumption of staining substances
(coffee, tea, colas, tobacco), trauma, nerve degeneration, and old restorations. During tooth
formation, consumption of tetracycline or excessive fluoride may cause tooth discoloration.
3. Who May Benefit From Tooth Whitening?
Almost anyone. However, there are some cases where the treatment may not be effective. Our
office determines viable candidates for the process through a thorough oral examination and
4. Is The Process Safe?
Yes! Research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth with carbamine peroxide under the
supervision of a dentist is safe for teeth and gums. In fact, many dentists consider this whitening
process the safest cosmetic dental procedure available today.
5. How Does It Work?
The whitening gel is placed in a thin bleaching tray that fits over your teeth. As the active
ingredient in the gel, carbamine peroxide, is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin
and bleaches the colored substances. The structure of the tooth is not changed; only the tooth
color is made lighter.
6. How Long Does It Take?
Results are usually seen after the first application. Maximum results generally occur when the
process is continued for 10 to 14 days.
7. Are There Any Side Effects?
Some people experience increased toth sensitivity to cold during the treatment. These symptoms
disappear with 1 to 3 dyas after interruption or completion of the treatment. Patients using gel
dispensed by our office are usually less likely to experience tooth sensitivity.
8. How Long Do The Results Last?
The teeth will always be lighter than they once were. However, some patients may need a tooth
whitening touch up for 1 to 2 days, once or twice a year. In order to maintain the whitest tooth
shade possible, it is best to avoid substances like coffee, tea, red wine and tobacco.
9. Bleaching Instructions:
Ingredients of this bleaching gel are carbamine peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, glycerin, and
trace amounts of fluoride and flavorings. Do not begin treatment if you are allergic to any of
As with any procedure there are risks and benefits. The hoped for benefit is whiter teeth.
The risks include, but are not limited to, occasional hot and cold sensitivity, a burning sensation in
the gums, soft tissue ulcers, nausea, soreness in the teeth and changes in the bite, jaw joint
soreness or disorders from the appliance, sore throat from swallowing bleach and facial pain.
These problems occur in less than 10% of patients treated and usually disappear when
treatment is interupted or completed. If you experience any difficulties during the course of
your treatment please call our office immediately.
Bleaching does not change the color of crowns or plastic fillings, but these restorations can be
changed or modified to match the color of bleached teeth.
Two appointments are necessary to begin the home bleaching process. On the first
appointment we take impressions of your teeth so that we can fabricate your custom trays. At
your second appointment, the trays are tried in and adjusted so they are comfortable. We then
apply a power bleach booster to your teeth, which usually results in a change of about one
shade immediately. We discuss instructions for home use and dispense the necessary materials.
Before each use at home, brush and floss your teeth thoroughly.
Place a few drops of bleaching gel on the inner wall of the bleaching appliance by the teeth to
be whitened. With both hands, carefully place the filled appliance within the mouth. Spit out
excess solution. Swallowing bleach, although not harmful, can result in throat irritation. Wear
for a period of 1.5 to 2 hours per day. Overnight use is possible but not recommended since it
may temporarily result in increased tooth sensitivity.
To remove the solution, remove the appliances with both hands, rinse your mouth with water,
brush the appliances inside and out and place the appliances in the storage container.
Clean your teeth as usual.
The more treatments per week the faster the bleaching. However, studies show that the
bleaching effect is maximized at 2 hours per day. It is best to change the solution every hour.
Do not wear the trays while eating.
Unused gel can be stored up to two years in the refrigerator. Avoid prolonged contact of gel
to heat. Your trays can be expensive to replace so always store them in the storage container.
They can warp under extreme heat so never soak in extremely hot water or place in the