Basic Steps of an In-Office Teeth Whitening Procedure

A woman's teeth before and after whiteningThere are two avenues to getting whiter teeth. You can opt for in-office dental whitening or over-the-counter home solutions. Home whitening solutions do not, however, produce teeth as white as those that have undergone in-office whitening.

Residents of Southbend looking for a long-lasting teeth whitening procedure should opt for in-office whitening done by a qualified dentist. Apart from the longer lasting and better results compared to home whitening kits, the process produces quick results and has no gum irritation. Here are the basic steps of in-office teeth whitening.

Teeth Preparation

Before your whitening procedure starts, the dentist will clean your teeth to remove the accumulated tartar, surface stains and debris. This step is crucial to ensure the whitening agent works directly on your teeth and to help the dentist determine the color of your teeth. This is important to make a comparison of your teeth before and after whitening.

Teeth Isolation

Teeth whiteners used by dentists contain a high amount of hydrogen peroxide. The agent is caustic and might cause severe damage if it comes into contact with your soft tissues. Liquid and rubber dental dams, face bibs, gauze rolls and cheek retractors are used to protect your gums from the effects of hydrogen peroxide.

Application and Activation of the Whitener

Whitener in the form of a paste or gel is generously painted or dabbed on your teeth. Some dental offices use a laser to activate the whitener which in turn increases its efficiency. The whitener is then allowed some time to work. The time varies depending on the brand used, but most in-office whitening procedures take 60-90 minutes.

After the recommended time, the whitener is suctioned off and the isolation equipment removed. Some dentists apply fluoride after the procedure to strengthen your teeth and reduce their sensitivity. You should avoid staining foods like coffee, wine and cola for about 12 hours after the procedure.