Tooth Whitening


Dazzling White Teeth are Possible

Just about everyone wishes they had whiter teeth. Fortunately, there is an easy, painless way to make your teeth whiter with bleaching – a dental technique that can give you a dazzling, bright smile!   Although teeth seem very hard, the enamel has microscopic pores that discolor over time as we age, from smoking, and from staining substances that we eat and drink. In some cases, enamel discoloration occurs during early tooth formation from antibiotic and fluoride consumption. Bleaching simply removes stains from the enamel of your teeth. Almost anyone can benefit from teeth whitening, and bleaching is ideal for patients who have healthy teeth and would like to have a brighter, more attractive smile. Bleaching will not change the shade of existing bonding, veneers or crowns.  There are two popular methods for tooth whitening, take-home method, in-office method.  In the take-home method, the whitening is done by a set of special tray and a bleaching gel that are placed on teeth for a period of 1-2 hours for 2-3 weeks.  The in-office method is suitable for individuals who desire rapid whitening and is done at the dental office.  In most cases the in-office method should be followed with a take-home regiment of bleaching to stabilize tooth colour.  It is our experience that the in-office whitening procedure is often more predictable that the take-home method.

What is tooth whitening?

Tooth whitening is a process for lightening the colour of your teeth. Dental supervised tooth whitening systems offer a safe and effective method of restoring natural teeth to a lighter colour. Natural tooth substance is not removed or altered in any way.

Is bleaching for me?

Generally, bleaching is successful in at least 90 percent of patients though it may not be an option for everyone. Consider tooth bleaching if your teeth are darkened from age, coffee, tea, or smoking. Teeth darkened with the color of yellow, brown, or orange respond better to whitening. Other types of gray stains caused by fluorosis, smoking or tetracycline are lightened, but results are not as dramatic. If you have very sensitive teeth, periodontal disease, or teeth with worn enamel, your dentist may discourage bleaching.

How long does it last?

Lightness should last from one to five years, depending on your personal habits such as smoking and drinking coffee and tea. At this point you may choose to get a touch up. This procedure may not be as costly because you can probably still use the same mouthguard. The retreatment time also is much shorter than the original treatment time.

How does it work?

There are two options available for bleaching ones teeth. One option is called at-home bleaching and the other is an in-office procedure. For at-home bleaching, impressions are taken of the teeth and custom trays are carefully fabricated to closely adapt to the teeth. A bleaching gel is applied to the inside of the custom fitted trays which are generally worn from 1-3 hours. The active ingredient in most of the whitening agents is carbamide peroxide (CH4N2O2), also known as urea peroxide; when water contacts this white crystal, the release of hydrogen peroxide lightens the teeth. Carbamide peroxide is dispensed in varying concentrations ranging from 10%-20%. There are also hydrogen peroxide based at-home gel that are dispensed in a dual barrel dispenser which mixes and activates the gel.

How long does it take?

The at-home system could take as long as two weeks to fully bleach the teeth or it could be as little as three days. The in-office system takes just over an hour. Which system is right for you is an individual decision. Some patients desire immediate results and do not want the inconvenience of trays and gels over a period of time. Which ever system you chose the end result is the same.

Is it safe? Any side effects?

Several studies, during the past five years, have proven bleaching to be safe and effective. The American Dental Association has granted its seal of approval to some teeth bleaching products. Some patients may experience slight gum irritation or tooth sensitivity, which will resolve when the treatment ends.  Over the counter systems or non-supervised products differ from the dental systems. The most significant variation is the type of chemical used for whitening. Some of the over the counter products utilise a mild acid.  The advertising often suggests that there is little difference. This is not correct. To achieve the best, long term, predictable results we would recommend that Dentist supervised systems to be used.

What are realistic expectations?

No one can really predict how much lighter your teeth will become. Every case is different. Typically, there is a two-shade improvement as seen on a dentist's shade guide. The success rate depends upon the type of stain involved and your compliance. Bleaching can only provide a shift in color from gray to a lighter shade of gray, for example. Bleaching does not lighten artificial materials such as resins, silicants, or porcelains.

Why is it best to go to a dentist?

Dental supervised systems offer a full examination prior to treatment. This will determine:

• Nature and extent of discolouration and the appropriate regime

• Any damaged or leaky restorations

• Any filled and teeth with crowns, that will not be affected

• Custom manufactured trays that will fit properly and not cause damage

• Whitening agent only contacts teeth necessary

• Whitening gel are Class 2 Medical device approved

• Supervised by a professional

• Advice on other cosmetic options given

How long should I wear the trays for?

This depends on the amount of lightening that you desire and the original shade of the teeth~ If your teeth are quite dark or very yellow/ grey. It will take longer to bleach the teeth. If you are not experiencing any sensitivity you may wear the trays for at least one to two hours. It is very important to remove all the excess material around the gums or the palate prior to sleeping with the trays.  The darker your teeth, the longer your teeth will take to get lighter. Tetracycline stained teeth can take 6 months or up to one year to bleach the teeth. Some teeth can whiten after one month. If you cannot wear the trays for a few days because of your hectic schedule, it does not matter. Bleach your teeth according to your own schedule.

What do I do if I have any sensitivity?

Sensitivity of teeth is the most common side effect of home bleaching. In fact many patients suffer from sensitive teeth any way. This occurs usually around the necks of the teeth where the gums have receded. If you are experiencing any sensitivity you should stop bleaching your teeth for a few days. You can resume after about 3-4 days. If the teeth become ultra sensitive you can place toothpaste for sensitive teeth , or obtain dentist-prescribed desensitizing creme to place into the bleaching trays for an hour a day. That will usually stop the sensitivity.

If you are at all concerned, please call us.

What happens if the teeth do not bleach evenly?

If the teeth have white spots on them before bleaching, these spots will appear whiter during the first few days, however the contrast between the spots and the rest of the tooth will be less and eventually they will not be noticeable. Sometimes we can perform a special procedure called "Microabrasion" for you where the white spots can be more permanently removed. Ask your dentist about the procedure if you are concerned about this. You may notice new white spots occurring on the teeth while you are undertaking the bleaching treatment; these white spots were already present on the teeth before bleaching. As the teeth become lighter they become more visible. Do not worry. As the whole tooth itself becomes lighter these spots will fade. You may notice these white spots immediately after a bleaching session or in the morning if you have been wearing the trays for the whole night.  Some teeth may appear banded with lighter/ whiter areas. Again these banding are originally present on the tooth. As the tooth is dark these bandings are not obvious. As the tooth becomes lighter, the lighter parts of the tooth will lighten first followed by the darker banded area. After a week or so these will not be noticeable any more.

How will my teeth feel?

Normally the teeth feel very clean after the bleaching procedure. The bleaching materials also have an indirect effect on the gums. The peroxide based agent can help improve the health of’ the gums. Incidentally, this is how the technique was invented. It was first used to heal gum irritation during orthodontic treatment.

What about the smile?

Your smile will appear brighter.

What about my existing crowns and fillings?

Crowns and white fillings do not change colour with tooth whitening. If you have white fillings in the front teeth that match the existing shade of your teeth before you bleach your teeth, they may not match the teeth afterwards. This is because while teeth can lighten, the fillings do not . When the desired colour has been achieved, the dentist can replace these fillings with a lighter shade of filling material to match the new shade of your teeth. Normally the dentist will wait a week before deciding to change and fillings.

It is always best to consult with the Dentist, who will be able to guide you.

Does Bleaching harm the teeth or gums?

Safety studies have shown that bleaching teeth using the dentist prescribed home bleaching technique is perfectly safe on the teeth, cheeks, gum and tissue of the mouth.  Bleaching the teeth with the dentist prescribed kits is equivalent to drinking one soda drink. The bleaching material used, is neither acidic nor caustic. It is neutral. There are problems with the bleaching kits that are purchased over the counter. Although they are inexpensive, they normally contain an acid rinse, which can damage the teeth or thin down the enamel of the teeth. This acid rinse can be extremely harmful to the teeth.  It is not however advisable to bleach your teeth if you smoke. It is best to stop smoking for at least 3 weeks before commencing the bleaching procedure. Smoking causes the teeth to darker anyway and the effects will be diminished.

Can everyone bleach their teeth?

The technique of Bleaching Teeth is not for everybody. There are some situations where bleaching teeth is contraindicated such as where the front teeth are already crowned or where there are very large fillings on the front teeth or where the teeth are already excessively worn and there is tooth surface loss. The most ideal situation is where there is not much wrong with the teeth except for the colour which has become more yellow with age.

To make an appointment contact our office at : 604-985-7032

What is Zoom! Technology? In office tooth whitening

A specific wavelength of light activates the whitening material and results in dazzling white teeth in just an hour with the least tooth sensitivity and gum tissue damage. We use the Zoom2 system that has been shown in the popular TV show of “Extreme Make Over”.

What is Zoom2 tooth whitening?

Zoom! is a bleaching process that lightens discoloration of

enamel and dentin.

Who may benefit from tooth whitening?

Almost anyone. However, treatment may not be as effective or

some as it is for others. Your dental professional can determine

if you are a viable candidate for this procedure through a thorough

oral exam, including a shade assessment.

Do many people whiten their teeth

More people than you might imagine.

A bright, sparkling smile can make a big

difference for everyone.

The Zoom! Whitening System makes it easier

and faster than ever before.

Is whitening safe?

Yes, extensive research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth under the supervision of a dentist is safe. In fact, many dentists consider whitening the safest cosmetic dental procedure available. As with any tooth whitening product, Zoom2 is not recommended for children under 13 years of age and pregnant or lactating women.

How long do the results last?

By following some simple post whitening care instructions, your teeth will always be lighter than they were before. To keep your teeth looking their best, we recommend flossing, brushing twice daily with Whitening Toothpaste, and occasional touch-ups with take-home whitening gel.

In there any difference between over-the-counter tooth whiteners and Zoom!

Yes! Consulting your dental professional is always the first step to whitening your teeth safely. Plus, over-the-counter tooth whitening strips, brush-on gels and toothpastes take weeks or months to whiten your teeth just a few shades. Zoom2 is clinically proven to whiten your teeth an average of eight shades in one hour.  Only a dentist can get your teeth this white, this fast.

How does the Zoom! In-Office System work?

The Zoom! light-activated whitening gel's active ingredient is Hydrogen Peroxide. As the Hydrogen Peroxide gel is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin, bleaching colored substances while the structure of the tooth is unchanged. The Zoom2 light, aids in activating the Hydrogen Peroxide and helps it penetrate the surface of the tooth. The proprietary light activated Zoom2 gel incorporates patented Amorphous Calcium Phosphate (ACP) technology to provide superior whitening results. Reduced contact time, ACP chemistry, combined with the new Balancing Agent and Fluoride Satin Finish agent ensure the lowest possible discomfort for patients. In fact, Zoom2 patients experience 67% less significant sensitivity than those treated with the original Zoom System. The new Precision Light Guide System ensures quick and consistent patient set-up for optimal whitening results. A study has shown that use of the Zoom2 lamp increases the effectiveness of the Zoom2 gel by 33% or more, giving an average improvement of eight shades.

Criteria for a candidate?

We require all tooth whitening candidates to be seen by a dentist or hygienist for a complete examination of the hard and soft oral tissues to rule out the present of gum disease, tooth decay ,defective fillings, crowns, and bridges.

Are there any side effects?

Some people may experience temporary increased tooth sensitivity to cold following treatment. These symptoms disappear within 1-3 days after the completion of the treatment.

How is exposure to the Zoom! light controlled?

The Zoom2 procedure requires that all soft tissue in and around the mouth be protected. The clinician is required to monitor the procedure to insure any exposed skin or tissue is isolated and protected. Protective eyewear is required during the procedure. Light sensitive individuals including those undergoing PUVA (Psoralen+UV Radiation) therapy or other photo-chemotherapy, as well as patients with melanoma, should not undergo the Zoom2 In-Office procedure. Also patients taking any light sensitive drugs or substances, whether over-the-counter, prescription or homeopathic, should consult their primary physician prior to procedure.