Teeth bleaching is one of the most common and sought out dental treatments nationwide. There are numerous options and products offering whiter teeth, from toothpastes to bleaching “strips” and even professional procedures. At Thousand Oaks Family Dentistry, we offer two forms of whitening procedures: in-office bleaching and take home trays.
Firstly, it is important to understand how teeth whitening works. In actuality, there is no bleach (sodium hypochlorite) in any whitening products. The active ingredient in almost all whiteners is hydrogen peroxide. Peroxide works by oxidizing the molecules that cause staining, which in-turn prevents them from dying the teeth. These staining compounds reside in the layer of the teeth known as the dentin. This zone sits between the tooth enamel and nerve chamber and is composed by thousands of tiny ducts known as tubules. Whitening sensitivity usually arises from these tubules opening, allowing the peroxide to penetrate and “bleach” the teeth.
Take home bleach trays combine flexibility and enduring results of whitening strips with the speed of professional strength bleach. After you decide to whiten using trays, we will take impressions of your teeth and turn those into plaster study models. We then vacuum form plastic to your model, making a perfect relief of your teeth. After trimming the plastic, your trays are ready to be picked up and used. The entire process can be completed in as little as two days (if necessary).
We will send you home with a peroxide intensity appropriate to your comfort level and desired results. Many first time bleachers will opt into a lower peroxide percentage until they understand their personal level of sensitivity. Trays are typically used for one hour a day for two weeks, followed by one hour a day, once a month. This schedule allows for deep dentin bleaching and an enduring white smile. Patients who use this method typically reach a very stable tooth shade that lasts for many years.
In-office bleaching is a great whitening solution for those who want immediate results or cannot devote the time to slower bleaching methods. We start by retracting your lips and blocking out your gum tissue and mucosa. Once we have created an effective barrier between your teeth and other mouth structures (peroxide will remove color from any tissue it contacts), we apply a 40% peroxide bleach to the facial side of your teeth. We typically leave the peroxide on for two 20 minute sessions. In the meantime, you can enjoy netflix, pandora internet radio or cable tv on our in-operatory TVs.
If you have any further questions on teeth bleaching or would like to schedule an appointment, feel free to call our office. We have helped hundreds of patients achieve healthy and beautiful smiles and can accommodate all of your esthetic needs and desires.