Teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.
Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth. The most popular method is using a home teeth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically. Since teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth.
Teeth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up may be needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.
Reasons for teeth whitening:
→ Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
→ Normal wear of outer tooth layer.
→ Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.).
→ Yellow, brown stained teeth.
What does teeth whitening involve?
This type of teeth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear plastic, trays.
At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with special whitening solution either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.
You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit your dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.
Sapphire Whitening System
A pearly-white smile is beautiful to look at and can greatly improve self-confidence. Many people are opting for the Sapphire Chairside Whitening System for fast, safe and effective teeth whitening. sapphire combines the newest advances in dental technology with proven chemical formulas. This ensures that the bleaching experience is painless, and the results are satisfying.
There are many reasons why teeth become stained or discolored, including tobacco use, and drinking dark liquids such as red wine, coffee, tea and cola. However, the natural aging process and prescription medication use can also cause yellowing and graying.
There are literally hundreds of whitening treatments available in the marketplace, including take-home strips, bleaching toothpastes and take-home whitening gels. Many take-home gels are ineffective and may not elicit the desired results.
Sapphire has many advantages over these other treatments, including:
→ All teeth treated simultaneously.
→ Faster treatment times.
→ Longer lasting results.
→ Reduced sensitivity.
→ Removal of stains on crowns, veneers and other restorations.
→ Safe procedure and treatment.
→ Treatments are performed by an experienced professional.
It is important to seek advice from the dentist prior to beginning a bleaching regime. Women who are pregnant or lactating should not seek bleaching treatment.
How does Sapphire whiten the teeth?
Sapphire is a bleaching process that lightens the dentin and enamel of the teeth. Sapphire contains a hydrogen peroxide component, which is the active ingredient in the gel. When hydrogen peroxide is applied to the teeth, the peroxide component breaks down into tiny oxygen bubbles. It is these bubbles that eliminate yellowing and staining.
A plasma arc curing light is used to activate the gel and expedite the whitening process. This specialized light contains no UV rays. it is also equipped with a filter that works to reduce the amount of heat (and therefore sensitivity) on the surface of the teeth during the procedure. The internal structure of the teeth remains completely healthy and intact during and after the treatment.
As with any whitening system, the post-treatment results can vary according to the degree of staining and the condition of the teeth. A consultation with the dentist prior to treatment will provide information as to what kind of results Sapphire can provide in specific instances. Sapphire is only applied to healthy teeth and gums. If tooth decay or gum disease is an issue, these need to be controlled before the bleaching treatment is performed.
How is the Sapphire whitening (bleaching) treatment performed?
Prior to treatment, there will be a consultation where the dentist will outline the exact procedure. On treatment day, a deep cleaning (prophylaxis) will be performed to rid the teeth of any debris and plaque. a set of impressions will be taken to make the take home bleaching trays for patients who wish to continue the whitening process to a lighter shade. Then, special eye wear will be provided to protect the eyes from the halide light, and splash-guards to protect the clothing from the bleaching agent.
Here is a brief overview of the Sapphire procedure:
- Cheek retractors will be placed to expose the entire surface of the teeth.
- The gums will be painted or covered to reduce sensitivity.
- The dentist will apply the whitening gel to the teeth.
- The plasma arc light will then be applied to activate the gel. This specialized sapphire light can be positioned to work on all the teeth simultaneously.
- After 30 minutes, gel will be removed from the teeth and the mouth will be rinsed.
- More gel will be applied for another 30 minutes.
- Again, the gel will be removed and the mouth will be thoroughly cleansed.
What happens after treatment?
The same external factors that caused the discoloration in the first place can quickly work their way back onto the teeth. For this reason, the dentist recommends flossing once a day, thorough cleaning with anti-sensitivity toothpaste twice a day, and occasional re-treatment with Zoom!® Weekender. These post-treatment measures will ensure that the smile stays at its whitest for a long time.