This is the procedure of making the shade of the teeth lighter, and therefore more attractive. Our office uses several methods: Chair side laser whitening (30% solution), Opalescence Boost (chair side) 38%, Opalescence tray whitening (at home) 20%, and Opalescence TresWhite Supreme 10%, or Crest Whitestrips Supreme (Professional Strength) 14% depending on patient preference and expectations.
The laser method involves activating the whitening solution with an intense light source. In our office we use a diode laser. No anesthesia is required and the procedure usually takes 60-90 minutes.
The tray method involves having impressions taken from which laboratory fabricated custom vinyl trays are made. A carbamide peroxide gel is placed in these trays and the trays with the gel are worn for about 1 hour, or overnight. The entire process takes 2-3 weeks of daily use. Three different strengths of gel may be used, however the higher the strength the greater the likelihood of reactions or tooth sensitivity. The tray method is recommended for badly stained teeth, such as tetracycline staining, and it may take several months of use to see significant color improvement. For maintenance of whitened teeth the trays should be used 2-3 times every 3-4 months.
The Opalescence TreWhite Supreme and Crest Whitestrips Supreme use disposable, stock delivery methods to deliver the bleaching agent and therefore are not as expensive as having custom made bleaching trays fabricated. Another advantage with these systems is if you have unused product remaining you can give it to a friend or family member.