Bleaching is the procedure of making teeth whiter and more attractive with the use of professional equipment. All systems cause temporary gum and/or tooth sensitivity to some degree. There are three main methods: Zoom or power bleaching, custom tray whitening, and professional strength white strips/trays.
‘Zoom’ or “power bleaching” is a fast tooth whitening procedure. In just over an hour, your teeth will be dramatically whiter. The convenience of one-stop power bleaching in comparison to days of using strips or wearing trays makes it a perfect choice for anyone in a hurry. However, the cost, high- sensitivity and fast color regression makes it less attractive to some.
The Power Whitening procedure is simple. It begins with a short preparation to isolate your lips and gums. The clinician then applies the power bleach whitening gel a few times over the course of 45 minutes to 1 hour (with or without the use of a light). A fluoride treatment completes the procedure. Take home trays and gel are recommended afterward for maximum whitening and maintenance. We do offer this option in our office for those with needs that are met best with power bleaching.
Pros: very quick procedure, considerable color change
Cons: expensive, most post-sensitivity, less user-control of final color, needs trays afterward
The tray method involves having impressions taken of your teeth, from which laboratory fabricated, custom vinyl trays are made. A gel is placed in these trays and are worn for 30 minutes, 3 hours, or overnight depending on the strength of gel used. The entire process takes 2-4 weeks of daily use. The tray method is recommended for badly stained teeth, such as tetracycline staining. The Process may take 1 month or more to see significant color improvement in severe cases. For continued white teeth, the trays should be used every 6 months to a year.
This is the method Anderton Dental prefers for it’s cost efficiency and effectiveness over time.
Pros: custom fit ensures even whitening, user controlling final color, least expensive option assuming long-term maintenance, best color change.
Cons: takes 2-4 weeks to complete initial whitening.
Professional Strength Whitening Strips
Professional strength whitening strips are box kits only available through a dental office. The strips use the same ingredients as the gels, only in a strip/tray form. The differences between this option and the two above are fit, coverage, and strength. Whitening strips fall short in all three of these. Long-term maintenance is a concern, as well. Per box is less expensive, but each “touch-up” requires the purchase of another box, which can get quite expensive over time.
Pros: inexpensive initial purchase
Cons: shade change is less dramatic, purchase of more boxes for each touch-up, less predictable results using ill-fitting, non-custom strips