Depending on your available time, your budget, and the shade change that you are trying to achieve, there are now multiple options available to brighten your smile. The following highlights the four main whitening choices.
- Premade Trays
These trays come preloaded with gel and are generally worn for ten days. By pressing the trays onto the teeth, you create a tight, custom fit that enables good coverage of the gel on the teeth. These trays fit better and provide more powerful and effective whitening than over-the-counter white strips.
- Custom Trays
A mould is taken of your upper and lower teeth from which a set of clear trays are made. The trays are worn daily using a concentration of gel that is deemed appropriate by your dentist. In addition to whitening ingredients, the gel also contains Potassium Nitrate and Fluoride, which decrease the incidence of cavities and lessen sensitivity. You can opt to wear the trays during the day or at night.
- In-Office Power Whitening
A high concentration of whitening agent is applied to the teeth chairside for a period of twenty minutes. This is then removed and an additional application is applied. Results are rapid and lasting.
- At-Home/In-Office Combo
Patients with dark gray or deep yellow stains sometimes require a one to two week booster of at-home whitening with custom trays followed by in-office power whitening. This sequence can be highly effective in lightening dark stains that may have been present for extended time periods.
Additionally, there are special treatments available for those with root canal treated teeth that have darkened and also for patients with white or brown stains on their teeth.
A trained dental professional can help you determine what whitening method will work best for you and will explain how to use the products to get the best results, what food and drinks to avoid during the whitening process, and how to prevent tooth sensitivity during the procedure.