In-office teeth whitening is the safest and most effective form of teeth whitening available. By undergoing your whitening procedure in the office, you can experience dramatic results in a single appointment. Your dentist can use highly concentrated bleaching agents to brighten your teeth quickly without damaging your enamel. There are a variety of whitening brands that offer in-office treatment options, including ZOOM!® Whitening, BriteSmile®, and Rembrandt® as well as others.
Before beginning your in-office treatment, your dental hygienist will clean your teeth and gums. This process ensures food particles, bacteria, and tartar do not interfere with the power of the bleaching agent. Then, your dentist can place a protective barrier over your gums to prevent any transfer of whitening gel, as the bleaching solution can irritate soft tissue.
Once your teeth are prepared, your dentist will used a specialized brush to evenly coat the whitening gel over the surface of your teeth. This step requires a great deal of precision. If the gel is applied improperly, it can damage your gums or create an uneven effect.
Your dentist has access to more concentrated bleaching agents, which can provide more dramatic results than store-bought.
In order to produce the best results, the gel will remain on your teeth for a set amount of time, typically 10 to 15 minutes. The length of time will depend on the brand of whitening gel and your desired shade. In some cases, your dentist will use a specialized ultraviolet (UV) light to to activate the whitening agent. When the predetermined time has passed, your dentist will remove the whitening gel and rinse your teeth.
Typically, whitening treatments are performed in intervals. Your dentist may apply and remove the gel three or four times, with five to ten minutes between each application. A full whitening treatment generally lasts about one hour.
Your dentist may recommend multiple treatments in order to help you achieve desirable cosmetic results. Some patients require at least two in-office whitening treatments to reach their goals. The number of additional whitening sessions you need will primarily depend on the initial color of your teeth.
Over time, the whiteness of your smile may fade. You may want to undergo treatment every few months or years to maintain treatment results. Some dentists offer lifetime whitening bundles for in-office bleaching patients. With this special offer, you will receive take-home whitening trays and gel to perform routine touch-ups. At your initial consultation, you should consult with your dentist about any whitening promotions they offer.
Your dentist has access to more concentrated bleaching agents, which can provide more dramatic results than store-bought products. Over-the-counter products with the same concentration often carry side effects that an in-office treatment does not. You can also achieve results more quickly than whitening your teeth at home.