Best candidates for Tooth Whitening:

Most people are good candidates to have their teeth bleached by a Seattle Cosmetic Dentist. However, there are some people who are not good candidates for bleaching, which includes people with severe periodontal disease. The best candidates for Seattle Teeth Whitening have several things in common:

  • Patients that have generally good oral health
  • Patients old enough to understand the procedure
  • Patients with yellowish and stained teeth
  • Patients who desire to improve there appearance
  • Patients that have realistic expectations about the whitening process

Patients interested in tooth whitening or bleaching should have a consultation with their Seattle Cosmetic Dentist before proceeding with treatment to determine if bleaching is proper for their case. Not everyone can have beautiful white teeth from bleaching alone, because bleaching varies with each person. People require different strengths of bleach and different amounts of time to obtain the best results. Because of these differences in people, it is best to consult with your Bellevue Cosmetic Dentist and have individually made custom bleach trays. There are many over the counter tooth bleaches but these are made for the masses and do not take into consideration any individual requirements or challenges. For example, if you have composite fillings in your anterior teeth, these over the counter whiteners are not going to bleach them. Because of this, they may look like spots if not treated properly by your Bellevue Cosmetic Dentist or Seattle Cosmetic Dentist.

The whitening process should always start with a professional prophylactic tooth cleaning by your Seattle Family Dentist or Seattle dental hygienist. Some discoloring may be removed in this manner and it will give your dentist an opportunity to evaluate your overall dentition and possibly determine how sensitive you may be to the tooth bleaching agents, which are usually composed of carbamide or hydrogen peroxide. These break down to form oxygen molecules, which assist in removing the stain particles by breaking them down into smaller particles. The more deeply the stains are embedded into the tooth structure, the more difficult they are to remove. Stains that appear light brown or yellow respond best to the bleaching treatment, while stains that are blue-gray to very dark are the most resistant to bleaching because they are usually the most deeply embedded into the tooth structure. These darker stains are often formed because to the patient has taken medications such as tetracycline into their bloodstream during the time their teeth were developing. These can be extremely difficult to bleach properly, and in some cases the patient may require a different treatment such as porcelain veneers or anterior porcelain crowns. In many of these types of cases, Seattle Porcelain Veneers may be right for the patient See Seattle Porcelain Veneers

How long does Seattle Teeth Whitening take to get my teeth white?

Seattle Teeth Whitening time is dependent upon several things, which include:

  • The strength of the whitening gel used
  • How long the whitening gel in is contact with your teeth
  • The type of tooth whitening procedure used
  • The amount of stain and discoloration on the teeth
  • The type of stain and discoloration on the teeth
  • The degree of whiteness the patience desires for their teeth

Seattle Teeth Whitening can often give satisfactory results within a short period of time, such as a couple of days or a week. However, in some cases, it may take several weeks or even months for complete results to be attained depending on the type of stain and discoloration as well as the natural resistant of the patient′s teeth to the bleaching process. Depending on personal habits of the patient, the bleaching procedure can have effects that last up to 3 years, or in some cases longer. Once your teeth have reached your desired color you can usually maintain that color for as long as you like by using your custom made bleach trays at irregular intervals as needed for short periods of time.

In-office teeth whitening by your Seattle Cosmetic Dentist is often faster and more dramatic than only using custom take home teeth whitening trays. The major draw back to in-office bleaching is the higher cost of the procedure. However, for busy people on the go and professional or business people, the rapidity of the in-office technique cannot be surpassed.

What will the initial consultation with my dentist be like?

When you first visit your dentist, you should discuss what your expectations are for your personal Seattle Teeth Whitening procedure. These expectations must be realistic for each patient. The different types of teeth whitening options currently available to you by your Seattle Cosmetic Dentist should be explained to you, as well as how the procedures are performed and what the limitations are for each of the different whitening procedures.

Your Seattle Dentist will conduct a complete medical history as well as a thorough dental exam. At Brookside Dental, we do an in depth examination of your head and neck area at your initial visit. Generally, pictures are taken to record your progress, while before and after pictures are used to evaluate your results. These pictures will guide your Seattle Dentist as you proceed with your teeth whitening treatment. The presence of poor oral hygiene or large cavities may require x-rays to be diagnosed and will require restorative treatment before any cosmetic dental procedures can be performed. Seattle Teeth Whitening can be accomplished by either using a take-home custom-made tooth whitening kit, or by using the in-office bleaching option.

Seattle Teeth whitening in-office options:

The in-office teeth whitening process is under the direct observation of your Seattle Cosmetic Dentist and is started by the cosmetic dental staff applying a protective layer of material, which covers your gums to prevent injury to these tissues during the bleaching procedure. Then a special hydrogen peroxide containing bleaching solution is applied to the teeth and a laser or high intensity light aimed the gel on the teeth to activate it. This causes the release of oxygen molecules from the gel. The Laser power bleaching takes around one hour to complete.

Seattle Teeth whitening at home options:

Bleaching at home is performed under indirect observation of your Seattle Dentist. At your initial appointment, your dentist takes impressions of your teeth and from these he or she has bleach trays fabricated. These custom trays should fit your teeth almost perfectly and be reasonably comfortable to wear during the teeth bleaching process. These custom trays allow the patient to keep the bleaching gel on their teeth while avoiding its spread to the soft tissues of the mouth such as the gums, cheeks, tongue and inner lips, which are very sensitive to the bleaching solution. Your Seattle Cosmetic Dentists at Brookside Dental have theirr own on-site laboratory, so that we can craft your bleach trays to meet your individual needs.

Some discomfort may occur with any type of teeth whitening. The amount of discomfort that a patient may experience can vary from individual to individual and also may vary with the teeth whitening method used. However, the majority of patients having their teeth whitened will only experience slight if any discomfort, which usually goes away within 24 hours. In the instance that the discomfort lasts for more than 2 days the patients should call his or her dentist for advice. In rare cases where the discomfort is severe, the patient they may have to have their dentist prescribe medication. You should talk with your Bellevue Cosmetic Dentist or Seattle Cosmetic Dentist about your pain tolerance, budget and expectations in order to assist them in deciding what bleaching method or combination of methods would be best for you.

What should be expectations after the teeth whitening treatment?

Although the results of teeth whitening can vary from person to person, most patients are very satisfied with their results. Foods that are capable of staining teeth easily and rapidly, such as red wine, blue berries and tobacco should be avoided for about a week. Maintaining good oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing will help maintain the results you have achieved through Seattle Teeth Whitening. On average, teeth bleaching will only last about 1-2 years. However, if you don’t use tobacco on a regular basis and don’t eat too many of the foods that are proven to stain teeth, your bleaching results may last longer. However, the bleaching procedure may last up to 3 years, and in some cases longer. Once your teeth have reached the color desired, they usually can be maintain at that color for as long as you like by using custom made bleach trays for short periods of time. See our article Seattle Tooth Whitening for additional information on Seattle Tooth Whitening.

This article was written by Dr. Cynthia Pauley of Brookside Dental who is an experienced Cosmetic Dentist who provides free cosmetic dentistry consultations for current patients of record with questions or concerns about various cosmetic dental procedures. If you would like a consultation with Dr. Cynthia Pauley, recently selected one the Top Cosmetic Dentists by Seattle Magazine, please call Brookside Dental at 425-643-2818.