One of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures is teeth whitening (bleaching). This procedure lightens teeth and can even help remove surface stains on the enamel. Whitening on teeth that have live nerves (i.e., those that have not received root-canal treatment) involves the application of a hydrogen peroxide-based gel on the tooth surfaces for a specific amount of time. For in-home teeth whitening systems, dental impressions of your teeth will be made at the office so that transparent, custom-made bleaching trays can be given to you. These bleaching trays will fit specifically to your upper and lower arch (i.e., maxillary and mandibular arch) of teeth. If tooth whitening is something that you’d like to do for your teeth, Dr. Street will discuss with you which type of bleaching gel should be used and how long you should wear the trays to produce the most ideal results. Typically, wearing the trays for a certain amount of time every day for two weeks can noticeably brighten your teeth. Along with the bleaching trays and bleaching solution dispensers, you will be given written instructions.
While tooth whitening can be an incredibly effective, non-invasive, and relatively inexpensive procedure, there are potential problems that should be noted:
- Tooth sensitivity may occur after bleaching. The sensitivity is typically mild if your teeth are not normally sensitive. To reduce sensitivity, it may be necessary to decrease the amount of time wearing the bleaching trays. Fluoride can also help reduce sensitivity; if your teeth are sensitive after bleaching, we recommend placing toothpaste in the trays and wearing them for ten minutes.
- Temporary gum inflammation can occur if the bleaching trays are overfilled. This inflammation will subside in a few days, especially when less bleaching solution is placed in the trays during your next bleaching application.
- Filling materials will not bleach. If you have dental fillings that are visible on your front teeth, you may consider replacing these fillings with a lighter shade once your desired tooth whiteness is achieved.
- Gradual relapse of the teeth’s original shade may occur over time. Depending on the amount of dark-colored drinks, coffee, tea, wine, and tobacco you may consume, this relapse may occur more quickly. To reverse this relapse, it may be necessary to bleach your teeth again once a month or two.
If you have any questions about tooth whitening, feel free to give us a call at (918) 488-9770.
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Looking for a full-service dentist in Tulsa?
At the office of Dr. Scott Street, we offer stress-free family care using modern technology and an old-fashioned personal approach. We provide a full selection of dental treatments, from routine cleanings to top-quality dental restorations. If you are looking for a full-service family dentist in Tulsa, OK, call us today at 918-481-4922 or use our online Appointment Request form.
Suite 1107 (11th Floor)
Tulsa, OK 74136
Tuesday 8am - 5pm
Wednesday 8am - 5pm
Thursday 8am - 5pm
Friday 8am - 5pm
Additional times are available.
Dr. Scott Street and the team at T-Town Smiles are proud to be the local Tulsa Dentist serving families in Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Oakhurst, Bixby, Glenpool and surrounding Tulsa communities.