How does whitening work and how effective is it?

Bleaching procedures can change your natural tooth color by removing both deep and surface stains. In-office (chairside) whitening and at-home (tray) whitening both rely on bleaching. A light-activated whitening session in a dentist’s office, sometimes called chairside bleaching, can result in instantly and often dramatically whiter teeth. However, after a year or so of eating and drinking normally (coffee, tea, soft drinks), your teeth become slightly discolored again and develop new stains. A custom made tray created by your dental hygienist, known as in-home bleaching is typically worn for several hours a day or overnight for two weeks. When you notice new staining, you can wear your trays again to take the stains off and achieve your desired shade. When in-office whitening is done at our office, we also make you complimentary custom made trays to allow for such touch-ups. Everyone responds differently to different whitening procedures, but be aware: clean teeth will always whiten better. Some people respond well to whitening procedures, while people with gray teeth or other severe discoloration may require porcelain veneers or bonding to achieve the goals desired. Your dentist and dental hygienist can determine what’s right for you.