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Teeth Whitening

At Home Care and Zoom!® Teeth Whitening from Connolly Family Dentistry

The lightening of tooth color through the application of chemical agents to oxidize the organic pigmentation of a tooth is referred to as bleaching. Your lifestyle and the aging process can stain and darken your teeth. Many things we do on a regular basis can contribute to stained teeth, such as drinking coffee, tea, cola, red wine, and smoking. All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives. “Whitening” toothpastes have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Bleaching solutions are products that contain peroxide(s), which actually bleach the tooth enamel. Most tooth whitening systems use either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide in different concentrations which oxidize the organic pigments in the tooth enamel surface. Some side effects have been noted with bleaching systems including mild tooth sensitivity and gum tissue irritation.

Teeth Whitening Tip:

Whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellowish hued teeth will probably bleach well, brownish-colored teeth may bleach less well, and grayish-hued teeth may not bleach well at all. Likewise, bleaching may not enhance your smile if you have had bonding or tooth-colored fillings placed in your front teeth. The whitener will not affect the color of these materials, and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. In these cases, you may want to investigate other options, like porcelain veneers or dental bonding.

Best Teeth Whitening Options

Home Teeth Whitening

Selection: Anyone with mild discolorations desiring teeth a few shades whiter and willing to devote time to an at home regimen.

Materials: Carbamide Peroxide(10-25%)

Location: At home 30mins-1hour

Technique: A custom fitted tray is made in a dental office. The gel is administered to the patient who administers the gel to themselves

Outcome: Average 2-4 weeks

Power Bleaching

“Professional Teeth Whitening”


Selection: Anyone with mild – severe discolorations desiring an immediate result.

Materials: Hydrogen Peroxide(30-50%)

Location: Dental Office

Technique: The teeth whitening gel is applied to the teeth by a dental professional and activated with a special light

Outcome: Results are immediate. Typically 1 hour.

Some non-vital teeth which have undergone a color change due to trauma or chemicals from a previous root canal may require a different type of bleaching. The primary indication for non-vital bleaching is a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy and has subsequently darkened in color. These bleaching procedures are limited to a dental office, requiring a bleaching agent to be placed inside the tooth instead of on the enamel surface.

Our office offers patients all of these teeth whitening options – at home bleaching and Zoom!®. Costs vary for each. We have consistently found that the most successful approach to optimal teeth whitening is to follow the “power bleaching” in-office procedure (Zoom!®) with home teeth whitening trays. Results have been impressive!

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