Teeth whitening is the process of breaking down pigments that stain the teeth by using hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide gels. This treatment will whiten your teeth anywhere from 2 to 6 shades. Tooth whitening can be done in-office for a quicker, more dramatic change; or at home in your convenience with your custom-made whitening trays.
The daily consumption of coffee, tea, red wine, or any food with rich pigmentation can cause discoloration of the teeth on the enamel surface. Practically everyone can get their teeth whiter as long as they have healthy enamel.
Since crowns and veneers do not change color with whitening, we recommend a whitening session prior to receiving new crowns or veneers, especially on the front teeth, in order for us to match your new porcelain restoration(s) with your desired tooth shade.
There are two types of tooth stains:
- Extrinsic stains: stains on the outside of the tooth caused by food consumption. Some of these can be removed by abrasive material during a professional dental cleaning; some will necessitate the chemical reaction of whitening gels.
- Intrinsic stains: stains within the tooth caused by long-term smoking, abnormal tooth changes such as loss of vitality due to trauma, thinning enamel, the long-term use of certain medications in early childhood, etc.
Patients with healthy enamel and extrinsic stains would benefit the most from teeth whitening.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
For faster, more dramatic teeth whitening results, we offer professional in-office teeth whitening.
In our Manhattan clinic, we use the Iveri Whitening System. The Iveri system utilizes gel that continuously rehydrates the enamel during the whitening treatment. This process of rehydration brings sensitivity after the procedure to a minimal level. It is important that you have healthy teeth and gums, free of tartar and calculus, in order to achieve the best whitening result. Therefore, we recommend you receive your whitening treatment after a dental cleaning.
In-office teeth whitening is completed in a single session lasting approximately 60 minutes:
- The hygienist will polish your teeth to remove soft plaque and staining, and check your teeth for decalcification of enamel or any recession areas.
- Your gums and any areas of gum recession will be covered with an isolating gel and cured with a blue UV light before applying the whitening gel to reduce the chance of experiencing tooth sensitivity during and after your treatment.
- The whitening gel is placed on your teeth via a prefilled tray. This gel contains 36% carbamide peroxide and 6% hydrogen peroxide.
- A blue-and-red LED light will pointed at your teeth and will activate the whitening gel. This process will be done in two or three 20-minute cycles. The longer the gel is allowed to work, the whiter your teeth will become.
- At the end of the cycle, the tray and gel barrier are removed.
At-Home Teeth Whitening:
We offer the convenience and flexibility of at-home whitening kits, which are completed in 2 steps.
In order to achieve visible results, the patient will need to repeat the at-home whitening procedure over several days or weeks, depending on the desired shade change.
- Impressions from your teeth are taken and sent to the lab for the fabrication of custom-made whitening trays
- Once ready, your trays and whitening gel will be delivered to you.
- Depending on the condition of your gums and teeth, and your personal preferences, we will recommend whitening gels with concentrations from 20% to 45%
- At your convenience, you will apply the whitening gel onto the trays and place them in your mouth according to instructions from the dentist.
The at-home whitening kit also offers a great way to touch-up between in-office whitening treatments.
For the best results, the patient should avoid drinking coffee, tea, red wine or eating dark-colored foods for 48 hours following a whitening treatment and during the at-home whitening cycle.
For a long lasting bright smile, it is important to brush and floss regularly. In addition, avoid dark-colored foods and drinks. If it can stain your shirt, it will stain your teeth! Quitting tobacco will also help keep your smile looking whiter for longer.
Regardless of whether the teeth were whitened using in-office or at-home whitening, the desired shade should be maintained by frequent at-home touch-ups.
Unfortunately, dental bonding, crowns and veneers do not get whiter with tooth whitening. If you are not happy with the color of your old dental restorations, they should be changed.
Short-term tooth sensitivity is uncommon but nonetheless possible. It is more typical in patients with existing gum recession or thinning enamel. This sensitivity will go away on its own, typically within 48 hours.
Teeth whitening is considered a purely cosmetic form of dental treatment. As such, traditional dental insurance plans do not cover it. The office of Dr. Mazen Natour will handle all insurance matters for its patients. Please call us if you have any questions about your coverage.