In office whitening or professional whitening is the most predictable and effective way to whiten your teeth when followed by an at-home whitener for 7-14 days. The whitening results from the in-office procedure needs to be stabilized by an at-home technique. The in-office whitening procedure starts with the isolation and protection of the gum tissue and lips. The whitening material is applied to the teeth, after which a high intensity light is focused on the teeth. Typically 3 passes are done to achieve the greatest whitening results, and with each pass new whitening material is placed. The doctor can control the concentration of the material as well as how long the material is applied to achieve the most effective whitening results.
At-home whitening uses custom trays that are made from molds of our patients' teeth. Whitening material is placed in the trays to apply the material to the teeth. The trays are worn for only 1 to 2 hours at a time to reduce any patient sensitivity. With these procedures an improvement of anywhere from 4 to 8 shades can be expected depending on various factors including the starting shade and extrinsic staining from foods that have a high "chromogenic" index, i.e. stains caused by foods such as soy sauce, tea, coffee, red wine or cigarette smoking.