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Teeth Whitening


How white can your teeth become?

How white your teeth can become from bleaching and whitening is a common question with a very subjective answer. Some whitening procedures claim they can whiten your teeth by up to nine shades, but that is highly unlikely. Just a change of two or three shades will make a significant difference in just about anyone’s smile. There is no one standard system in the dental field to measure and determine tooth color.

Not all of your teeth are the same natural color. Usually your eye teeth tend to be darker than the others, your front teeth are typically the whitest, and molars tend to be a shade between the two. The goal for everyone is to achieve their individual optimum whiteness while still looking natural. How white your teeth will become from a given procedure will vary from person to person. The structure of your teeth and the type of procedure implemented will affect the outcome. We prefer at-home whitening in which custom whitening trays are fabricated and the “bleach” is placed into the trays at home. This method generally produces the least amount of sensitivity and the longest lasting results.

Although bleaching is very effective, there can be short-term disadvantages, such as sore or sensitive gums/teeth from the bleach. This disappears when bleach use is discontinued. Some individuals are more chemically sensitive. If you are one of them, inform us so that you can be tested for sensitivity to the solution. Research indicates that bleaching is completely effective in more than 78% of people. In cases of serious teeth discoloration, bleaching may not be the best choice. Veneers or crowns may be the superior choice. Due to its affordability, bleaching is usually our first recommendation.

Some people experience discomfort from wearing the mouth tray. This typically goes away in short order, but if you suspect that there is a problem with the fit of your mouth tray, call our office. We can often make small adjustments that will minimize or eliminate the problem.

For more information on professional whitening or how we use cosmetic dentistry to enhance your smile, please call our office today.