Over time, teeth naturally darken. Changes in the tooth color can be caused by food and beverages (e.g. coffee, tea and soda), childhood medications or illnesses, tobacco use, or improper oral hygiene. Whitening services have grown in popularity in recent years, and many solutions are on the market, including some directly to consumers. Unfortunately, over-the-counter solutions do not work as effectively as professional solutions, often resulting in a higher expense for the patient and unsatisfactory results.
Our office provides two methods for bleaching the teeth: overnight/daily (Dr. Khani's preference) and in-office:
- The overnight/daily solution requires making an impression of your teeth and creating custom trays that fit snugly to your teeth. For treatment, the patient fills the trays with a small amount of whitening gel and wears them overnight or for a few hours during the day. The overnight/daily process takes two to four weeks. Our office uses the Opalescence Tooth Whitening System.
- The in-office treatment is appropriate when very quick results are desired (for example, for an upcoming special event) or to whiten a single tooth that did not respond to daily treatment. The whitening solution is applied and the patient waits one and a half to two hours for results. Dr. Khani does not tend to recommend this method due to the concentration of the solution used, which can burn the gums and cause a great deal of sensitivity. It is also about twice the cost of the daily solution.