Years of coffee, tea, and wine drinking, poor oral hygiene, aging, and genetic predisposition all factor into the color of your smile. Probably the most popular cosmetic dentistry option available at Zam dental, teeth whitening gives patients the ability to brighten their smiles and look and feel their best. If you’re one of our San Antonio dental patients, we invite you to schedule a teeth whitening consultation to learn more about our professional smile brightening solutions. If we determine teeth whitening will not be effective for your unique situation, we can also evaluate our other cosmetic dentistry options to find the right choice to deliver the results you desire.
We’ve all been bombarded with the teeth whitening commercials or seen row after row of whitening toothpastes, mouthwashes, strips, and gels at the local pharmacy. These store bought teeth whitening products make big promises to patients, but they are not typically able to deliver the desired results. The reason these products prove ineffective is twofold. For one, the FDA closely regulates the amount of active whitening agent in over-the-counter teeth whiteners. Without the guidance of a professional, the carbamide or hydrogen peroxide used to whiten teeth can cause serious damage to soft tissues, so to ensure patient safety, these store bought whitening kits contain extremely low levels of active whitening agents. Secondly, the application methods for these products are ineffective. Brushing teeth whitening materials onto teeth or swishing them in the mouth does not allow them to remain active and remove stains. Strips and gels are not typically effective in keeping neutralizing saliva away from teeth. While these do allow the whitener to work a little longer, the products are still only active for a minute or two at a time. For this reason, many patients visit our office frustrated with the lack of improvement they see after weeks, months, or even years of using store bought whitening kits.
In-office professional teeth whitening is typically completed in about an hour and creates smiles up to ten shades brighter. We begin by placing a protective barrier over soft tissue. Then, we apply a professional dose of active whitening agent. The whitening gel remains in place for about twenty minutes. Then, we’ll remove the gel and check your progress. This process may be repeated a few times before the desired results are achieved. Patients with thinning tooth enamel or sensitive teeth often find in-office whitening painful, so this may not be the best option for those with dental sensitivity. Additionally, patients who are anxious at the dentist may not enjoy spending an hour or longer in the dental chair. For these patients and others, professional take home teeth whitening may be preferable.
Professional Take-Home Teeth Whitening Kits
We recommend take-home teeth whitening kits for patients who:
- Have sensitive teeth or gums
- Want to brighten their smiles gradually
- Need to touch up the results of in-office teeth whitening
- Prefer to whiten teeth at home
Compared with store bought whitening kits, professional take home teeth whitening allows patients to achieve the same results as in-office whitening from the comfort of home. We achieve these results by using custom crafted application trays and personalized doses of professional grade whitening gels. That means the whitening product has time to work because the custom application trays keep neutralizing saliva out. They also prevent the whitening agent from leaking out and potentially harming soft tissue.