A beautiful smile can transform a face, stripping years from someone’s appearance and enhancing his or her attractiveness. Aging can cause teeth to yellow, but so can substances like wine, coffee, or tobacco. These can accumulate on and stain the enamel of your teeth. Luckily, teeth whitening procedures exist that allow a dental professional to reverse the effects of aging in teeth. At Raleigh Implant and Family Dentistry, we are pleased to offer the Zoom! in-office whitening system as a complement to orthodontic treatment.
There are several tooth whitening options available, differentiated by cost and how quickly they work. The three primary options when considering tooth whitening are by applying a bleaching agent onto a custom made bleaching tray, having the teeth bleached while in a professional provider office, or purchasing an over the counter bleaching system to apply at home.
- Take Home System
Take-home systems allow the bleaching products to be applied evenly over the tooth’s surface because the bleaching tray, supplied by the dentist or orthodontist, is custom-made to align with your teeth. Patients can apply them during the day or overnight and it generally takes 2-6 weeks to see results.
- Over the Counter
Over the counter products are used similarly to the take-home, but the results are less reliable because the provided strips or trays do not fit as precisely as a custom made bleaching tray. They may be a good option for people to maintain their professional whitening results.
- In-Office Bleaching
In-office bleaching typically utilizes more highly concentrated bleach agents than the take-home methods and gives results that can be seen immediately after treatment. They are a good choice for people desiring rapid whitening as the previous options may take weeks for results to be visible. The Zoom in-office tooth whitening procedure uses the Zoom Advanced Power Chairside Lamp to activate the 25 percent hydrogen peroxide whitening. As the hydrogen peroxide is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin to bleach the stained substances, leaving the structure of the tooth unchanged. Immediately afterward the Zoom process, a sensitivity-reducing fluoride paste-gel is applied to the teeth.
What to Expect
Side effects involving tooth whitening are typically mild and temporary. Some of the more common problems are gum irritation or sensitivity in the tooth. Poorly fitting whitening trays, or not using the product for the recommended duration may lead to irritation. Patients can reduce sensitivity by using a fluoride toothpaste, placing fluoride gel in the tray prior to whitening, or spacing out whitening treatments. Some take-home products are designed to reduce sensitivity, though they may be less potent and yield results more slowly. You will be asked to avoid staining substances such as tea, coffee, red wine and tobacco after the process is completed.
Whitening the teeth is a simple and effective way to dramatically enhance a smile. We know that having your best smile is more than just straightening teeth. Providing the option to have whitening treatment before receiving braces is just one way our doctors treat your whole smile. Contact us today to set up an appointment to get your whitest smile yet.