- Beautiful, Straight Teeth In A Few Short Months!
- Six Month Smiles – adult, clear braces
- Natural Looking Fillings
- Professional Teeth Whitening
- Dental Veneers
- Invisalign® Invisible Braces
"...Fun to Smile Again!"
I've always wanted to have a movie star smile, but my teeth were yellow. Thank you Dr. Morgan! You've made it fun to smile again."
- Cathy, Patient of Dr. Morgan
"I Can Smile Again!"
With my new dental implants, I can now eat anything I've ever wanted.
Thank you Dr. Morgan! Thanks to you, I can smile again!"
- June, Patient of Dr. Morgan
Professional Teeth Whitening
A beautiful, white smile doesn’t have to be something that is out of reach! In fact, just about anybody can enjoy the benefits of a dazzling smile thanks to simple but effective tooth whitening procedures.
A professional grade tooth whitening procedure offers a lasting solution for discolored teeth. And it’s a solution that will work for anyone at any age who fits the criteria for successful whitening.
Don’t over-the-counter whitening products work? Why do I need professional tooth whitening?
Yes over-the-counter whitening products do in fact work…to a point. The big difference between what you can buy in the store and the professional level products is the concentration of the whitening agent itself. In other words an over-the-counter whitener amounts to a diluted product. It can work but usually not to the degree that can be achieved with a more concentrated product. There is no harm in trying the products you get in the store, but realize they will take longer and they might not give you the results you’re looking for.
What’s the process for getting professional whitening done?
To begin, you will first need to come into the office to let us look at your teeth and discuss your options. There are hundreds of whitening products now, but all of them use one or both of two whitening chemicals (peroxide and carbamide) to whiten your teeth. The variations are mostly in the concentration of the whitener, with the stronger ones designed for short term use during the day and more dilute ones (still more concentrated than over-the-counter products) for overnight use or sensitive teeth. The more concentrated products tend to cause more sensitivity, a side effect common to all whiteners. Many whitening products also contain a de-sensitizing ingredient to reduce this phenomenon.
So, one decision you need to make is whether you intend to use the product for short periods during the day or overnight. Most people today use the daytime products since the chemical doesn’t stay active all night anyway. Depending on how sensitive your teeth are, you may need to choose a less concentrated product to minimize the sensitivity.
Another decision is whether to get custom whitening trays made. These fit snugly on your teeth and are relatively unobtrusive. They will give you the best fit with the least awareness of something in your mouth. A less expensive alternative is to get one of the products that has a one-size-fits-all tray. These work just as well for whitening but they are bulkier and more noticeable in your mouth.
Either type of tray is worn for at least a half hour twice a day for 2 weeks or until you get the desired results you want. Even if you can’t stick to the schedule of twice a day, you will still get results as long as each time you wear the tray with the whitener, you keep it in for 30 minutes; it will just take more than two weeks to get the result.
Another choice you will face is whether to do in-office whitening or at-home whitening. The processes described above are at-home.
In-office whitening uses a bright specialized light and a more concentrated whitener. This yields an immediate result, but you will still need to follow up with at-home trays and daily use for a while. The advantage is being able to see results in a single visit to the dental office. The downside of in-office whitening is higher cost, higher incidence of sensitivity (sometimes extreme), longer time spent in the chair. Even so, this has been a popular whitening technique.
However, independent studies have shown repeatedly that the results of in-office whitening with a light are in no way superior to straight at-home whitening, when compared a few weeks later. The immediate result, which can be dramatic, is created as much by drying the teeth out as by the whitening. Drying the teeth out along with the heat produced by the light may account for some of the sensitivity many people experience with this technique. After treatment, the teeth will re-hydrate in a few hours and return to the color they would be if an at-home whitener only had been used.
Are there any reasons why I should not have my teeth whitened?
Yes there are some reasons to at least consider as possible obstacles before you whiten:
- Teeth discolored by tetracycline or other drugs taken when you were very young. These conditions may not respond to whitening techniques
- Teeth you want whitened, especially your front teeth, have a lot of fillings. The fillings probably won’t whiten and when the teeth do whiten, the fillings may stand out and look dark. You may have to consider having the fillings replaced after whitening: best to know this before you start
- Untreated cavities and/or old fillings that are breaking down. These may cause pain during the whitening process; and of course, there is no point in whitening teeth that are in danger of being lost due to decay.
- Crowns on some of the teeth that show. Crowns will not whiten; your natural teeth will. If they match now, they won’t after whitening. If they don’t match now, it is unlikely whitening will result in a match. You may need to consider replacing some of the crowns. Discuss this with your dentist first.
As an aside, all teeth have a different intrinsic color and as a result each person’s ideal tooth color will vary. As well, each person’s degree of whitening will vary. It is not possible to accurately predict results.
If you have questions about professionally whitening your teeth, Contact Morgan Dental Care at (207) 839-2655. We’ll be happy to help guide you to the best solution at your consultation visit.
Morgan Dental Care- general, cosmetic and sedation dentistry- serving the Greater Portland Maine area: Gorham, Westbrook, Portland, South Portland, Windham, Scarborough, Standish, and the surrounding areas.