Your smile is your calling card. It is one of the central features on your face, and one that can override others when managed with care. Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental treatment that enables our patients to transform their smile immediately or at their own pace. Dr. Abernathy will discuss which teeth whitening option is best for you.
What Is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is a technique in which a precise concentration of carbamide or hydrogen peroxide is applied to teeth for a specified period. The process may be conducted in our NYC office in about an hour to achieve immediate and dramatic results. Alternatively, patients may choose a professional home whitening kit that is used daily for up to two weeks. With each use, the tiny particles that are causing discoloration are broken up and released from enamel.
“My friend recommended Dr. Abernathy after the exceptional service she had. Its been hard finding a dentist I was comfortable with that made feel at ease and had my best interest in mind… I am very pleased with how courteous and professional everyone is. Thank You 😀”
Melissa A. – June 2019
What Can Teeth Whitening Correct?
Teeth whitening treatment is performed to correct external stains. These are the stains and overall discoloration and dulling that stem from foods and beverages. The enamel that covers teeth is porous. As such, enamel can absorb and hold on to microscopic particles. As these accumulate in the outermost layer of the teeth, light is unable to reflect as brightly as it would otherwise. When an appropriate peroxide is applied in gel form, it gets absorbed into the pores where particles are blocking light. Stain molecules are lifted, resulting in a brighter smile.
Peroxide cannot penetrate deeply enough to correct intrinsic stains caused by medications or injuries to the tooth.
Who Is a Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
Many teens and adults are good candidates for teeth whitening. Before commencing with cosmetic treatment, we conduct a thorough dental exam to confirm optimal tooth and gum health. If necessary, dental problems like cavities or gingivitis will be corrected. This ensures the results of cosmetic dental treatment are not diminished or limited in duration. Resolving dental problems can also ensure that the teeth whitening procedure does not cause undue inflammation and discomfort. In addition to examining and treating teeth as needed, we may also perform a routine cleaning to remove plaque or tartar that may prevent the best outcome from teeth whitening.
The Whitening Procedure
We proudly offer a variety of teeth-whitening systems in our NYC office. These include Opalescence Go, Boost, KöR, and Glo Science. The whitening procedure differs based on the system selected by the patient.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
Generally, in-office whitening procedures begin with the application of a protective gel or sheeting over the gums and lips. The lips are retracted using a gentle mouthpiece. Protective eyewear may also be applied before the whitening agent is painted on the front surface of the teeth that are seen in the smile. This gel is then activated using light or a chemical reaction that accelerates the dismantling of external stains.
Home Teeth Whitening
Home whitening treatments typically involve a custom-fitted mouthpiece and professional-grade whitening gel. After inserting the gel into the mouthpiece, the tray is placed over teeth and worn for a period of time. This may be as short as an hour or as long as overnight.
Glo Science Teeth Whitening
A new method has recently emerged for those who wish to whiten at home. Our Glo Science teeth whitening system combines powerful whitening gel with LED and blue light to accelerate the whitening process in the comfort of your own home.
How Many Times Can I Have My Teeth Whitened?
It is possible to repeat teeth whitening throughout your lifetime to maintain your radiant smile. The frequency of touch-ups depends on several factors. Typically, home whitening treatments achieve results that last several months. Professional treatments conducted in the office generally last a year or longer. Patients may repeat in-office treatments every year or two as needed.
“I love Dr. Abernathy and staff. They are always friendly and professional. Dr. Abernathy takes time to explain every detail of what I need to do to keep my teeth healthy and any mistakes I maybe making during my time between check-ups. Even now that I work across town I still travel to 141.”
Will My Teeth Become Sensitive After Teeth Whitening?
Some people do experience mild sensitivity after teeth whitening. This is because the protective biofilm that covers enamel is removed by the peroxide gel, making nerves more reactive. We have selected teeth whitening products that contain additional ingredients like potassium and fluoride to reduce the risk of sensitivity for our patients. In addition to choosing a gentler whitening system, a sensitive-teeth toothpaste may be used shortly before and after teeth whitening to address this concern.
Will My Teeth Stay White After Treatment?
Because enamel is porous, tiny particles of debris will accumulate even after teeth whitening. The speed at which this happens differs from one person to another. If you are careful to avoid high-risk beverages like coffee and red wine or to rinse your mouth with water after consuming stain-causing food and drink, your results are more likely to last longer.
Are There Any Risks to Teeth Whitening?
The main risks associated with teeth whitening are gingival irritation and tooth sensitivity. Our techniques and products have been developed to decrease both of these risks.
Professional Whitening vs. Over the Counter Whitening
Teeth whitening products sold commercially adhere to strict limitations regarding active ingredients. The concentration of peroxide in a commercial product must be low enough to be safe for any user. Professional teeth whitening treatment is administered by a dentist even if conducted at home. Because the dentist confirms good oral health prior to whitening, it is possible to use a higher concentration of peroxide. The more concentrated the peroxide gel, the faster we get results.