Many people experience tooth discolorations and stains caused by age, tobacco, coffee, or tea. Other types of stains can be caused by antibiotics, such as tetracycline.
There are many options to combat staining, including a number of over-the-counter whitening systems, whitening toothpastes, and the latest high-tech option–laser tooth whitening. For maximum whitening, experts agree that peroxide is usually the way to go.
Supervised bleaching procedures that are done in-office have become among the most popular treatment options. You may have heard or seen the ads regarding Zoom, which we now offer. The procedure is performed entirely in the office, using a light or heat source to speed up the bleaching process. The complete procedure takes less than an hour, but a regular teeth cleaning is often recommended prior to the actual Zoom teeth whitening session. In some cases, we can get the procedure started during an office visit and then give you what you need to complete it at home.
At-home procedures, sometimes called nightguard vital bleaching, consist of placing a bleaching solution, usually a peroxide mixture, in a tray (nightguard) that has been custom fitted for your mouth by an oral health care professional. The bleaching solutions may vary in potency and may be worn for an hour, or throughout the night. Your oral health care professional can advise you on the appropriate type of application and the length of time needed to whiten your teeth, based on the severity of tooth discoloration and your specific needs.
Bleaching is effective in lightening most stains caused by age, tobacco, coffee, and tea. Based on clinical studies, 96 percent of patients with these kinds of stains experience some lightening effect.