890 E 116th Street Suite 210, Carmel, IN 46032
call: 317-575-8993

Teeth Whitening - Get a Brighter Smile in Less Than Two Hours

There are many products and techniques available for a brighter smile. The best way to begin any teeth-whitening regimen is to talk to us about the differences between professional whitening and at-home whitening.

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In-Office Teeth Whitening

The first professional option for teeth whitening is a procedure most often described as in-office whitening. This comprehensive process takes place within a controlled environment - the dental office. Designed to brighten the color of your teeth and enhance your overall smile, in-office whitening uses strong yet safe bleaching agents to deliver immediate and effective results.

The procedure typically starts with the dentist conducting a comprehensive examination of your oral health to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy enough for the procedure. This may involve taking dental X-rays and checking for cavities, gum disease, and other potential issues. If any problems are detected, these must be treated before the whitening process can begin.

Once your dentist has determined that you are a suitable candidate for in-office whitening, your teeth are thoroughly cleaned to remove any plaque or tartar build-up. This step is crucial in allowing the whitening gel to have direct contact with your teeth, thereby ensuring more uniform results.

Following the cleaning, a protective barrier is placed around your gums to shield them from the powerful whitening gel. This gel, often based on hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, is then meticulously applied to the surface of your teeth. In many cases, the gel is activated using a specialized light or laser, which can enhance its whitening power and speed up the process.

after and before picture of teeth whitening - a female smile with half very white teeth and half partially yellow teeth
After and Before Example of In-Office Teeth Whitening

Typically, the gel remains on your teeth for around 15 to 30 minutes. Depending on the level of discoloration and your desired whiteness, your dentist may apply several rounds of gel. The entire office visit for this procedure usually takes about 90 minutes, and you can expect to see results immediately. Unlike home-based whitening solutions, in-office whitening provides instant and typically more noticeable changes, often lightening teeth by several shades in a single visit.

Not only is in-office whitening more efficient, but it also allows for safer application under the supervision of a dental professional, reducing the risk of complications. However, it's essential to understand that whitening is not a permanent solution and maintaining good oral hygiene habits post-treatment will be key to preserving the results.

At-Home Teeth Whitening

At-home teeth whitening is a popular alternative for those who prefer the convenience and flexibility of brightening their smiles in the comfort of their own homes. There are various options for at-home teeth whitening, ranging from over-the-counter products like whitening strips, toothpaste, and gels, to professional at-home kits provided by a dentist.

Over-the-counter whitening products are readily available and relatively affordable, but they tend to contain lower concentrations of bleaching agents, such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, compared to professional options. As a result, they may take longer to show noticeable effects and the results may not be as dramatic.

For more significant results, you may opt for professional at-home whitening kits provided by your dentist. These kits include custom-made trays designed to fit snugly over your teeth, ensuring even coverage of the whitening gel. The gel used in these kits often has a higher concentration of bleaching agents than over-the-counter options. Consequently, they can provide more noticeable results. However, they should be used under the guidance of your dentist to avoid potential side effects like tooth sensitivity and gum irritation.

Regardless of the method you choose, it's important to remember that at-home teeth whitening requires consistency and patience. The process typically takes a few weeks, and results can vary based on the level of tooth discoloration and individual response to treatment. Also, these results aren't permanent; to maintain the whitening effects, you'll need to repeat the treatment periodically and avoid foods and drinks that can stain your teeth.

Tray Whitening

Tray bleaching is a type of professional whitening that uses custom-made trays and whitening gel only available through your dentist. The whitening gel is placed in custom-fitted trays that fit perfectly over your teeth. As the peroxide in the gel breaks down, hydroxyradicals help whiten stained teeth. Unlike strips, this process whitens all your natural teeth and may contain ingredients intended to provide maximum comfort. At-home professional tray whitening generally takes ten to 14 days, although you may notice results in as little as three to five days.

Paint-On Teeth Whiteners

There are many over-the-counter teeth whitening options, and one type of readily accessible whitening products is commonly referred to as a “paint-on” teeth whitener. Paint-on whiteners can be purchased over-the-counter and generally are less expensive and less effective than whitening strips or professional options. Paint-on teeth whiteners consist of a gel that is applied to the tooth using a small brush. Paint-on whitening gel hardens into a film that coats the teeth, and dissolves in the mouth. As with any teeth-whitening regimen, it is wise to consult with a dental professional before use.

Teeth-Whitening Strips

Teeth-whitening strips are thin, flexible plastic (polyethylene) strips with a thin film of hydrogen peroxide on one side. Whitening strip kits come with two types of strips: strips for the upper teeth and strips for the lower teeth. The whitening agent is applied by placing the strips across your teeth and gently pressing the strips to ensure contact with all your teeth. Teeth-whitening strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day. The duration of treatment will vary.

Whitening Toothpaste and Mouthwash

The least expensive and least effective options are whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes. Designed to have “whitening” capabilities, toothpastes and mouthwashes work to remove surface stains using mild abrasives. However, unlike the materials used in professional whitening procedures, these products do not lighten the actual color shade of the tooth. Whitening toothpastes affect surface stains and will mildly lighten your teeth.

Let’s talk teeth Whitening

If you would like to learn more about teeth whitening, please contact our practice to schedule an appointment.

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Our Family Dental office is located at the corner of 116th Street and Guilford Avenue at the 116th Street Centre on the 2nd Floor. Please enter our building from the parking lot lobby in the southwest corner.

Office Hours

Monday: 7:00am to 4:00pm
Tuesday: 7:00am to 4:00pm
Wednesday: 7:00am to 4:00pm
Thursday: 7:00am to 4:00pm
Friday: Closed
Saturday & Sunday: Closed

2875 Main St, Frisco, TX 75034

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