Dental Whitening

Who doesn’t want a nice white smile. Many patients inquire about whitening their teeth. Perhaps they have family pictures, an upcoming wedding or other important social event.

Much information exists regarding dental whitening options. There are many different products that work via different mechanisms.

The main mechanism that dentists use to whiten teeth is chemical based. A whitening agent that predominates most of the whitening products and dentist supplies whitening solutions is called Carbamide Peroxide. This chemical infiltrate the surface enamel and oxides the molecules impregnated in the enamel that are causing discolouration of the tooth.

The concentration of the Carbamide Peroxide in the topical whitening agent will determine how effective and quickly it works. For example, many over the counter whitening solutions will have between 5% and 20% Carbamide Peroxide. Often dental office solutions will be much higher. Some dental whitening systems are as high as 37% percent. Ultimately the efficacy of the whitening system you are using will be a function of how high the concentration is.

Other tools are used to in conjunction with the Carbamide Peroxide. Some systems utilize lasers or UV lights. These systems may or may not improve results but ultimately it is the concentration of Carbamide Peroxide that is the critical element for whitening success.

Having worked with different dental whitening solutions over the years we have found patients have had the best success with take home whitening kits. These kits allow the patient to continue to whiten until they are happy with results. With single office visit solutions, a patient is often paying more for a single service and may not be happy with the result.

Take home whitening solutions allow the patient the opportunity to continue to whiten as needed. Often a patient’s tooth discolouration is related to a dietary intake substance such as coffee or red wine. Regardless of the whitening solution you use consuming these products will result in staining again. The take home whitening kits allow you to touch up your smile as needed.

The take home whitening kit involves making bleaching trays for the patient and providing the whitening gel tubes. Our kits come with a set of whitening trays and 6 tubes of 35% Carbamide Peroxide containing. This gel should be used sparingly to avoid swallowing of the topical agent. These tubes should last for at least 20-30 whitening. The cost for these kits is typically around $200 dollars and refill tubes are 2 for $40.

Wear and care instructions are given at the time the trays are delivered. It is generally recommended that patients brush for 1-2 weeks prior to starting with a sensitive toothpaste containing Potassium Nitrate as the medical ingredient.