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Teeth Whitening Procedure & Steps

What Steps Are Involved With In-surgery Teeth Whitening ?

Although different in-surgery teeth whitening systems can vary slightly from product to product, there are common practices that you will experience when you see your dentist for in-surgery whitening.

The first thing that will happen when you receive in-surgery teeth whitening is that the dentist or hygienist will need to establish your baseline tooth colour. This gives your dental professional an idea of exactly how stained your teeth are, and how deep the stains are into your teeth. Usually, a dentist or hygienist will have an assortment of coloured tabs that will be compared against your teeth. This way, your dentist can record precisely how stained your teeth are when you came in, and define the effectiveness of the teeth whitening procedure based on the number of shades your teeth improve by. Some dentists also like to take a picture of the patient’s mouth as a means of visually capturing the transformation from stained to whitened teeth.

After a baseline is established, the dentist will cover your lips and gums so that the high concentration peroxide gel does not touch sensitive oral “soft” tissue. Next, a “barrier material” in the form of a liquid or “cream” is applied to the gums and then “dried” with a curing light to help harden the barrier material. This is done protect the gums from the high concentration peroxide. It is essential that all the “soft tissue” of the mouth (gums, lips, tongue) are protected to avoid irritation. Finally, a teeth whitening gel is applied to your teeth by the dentist. Some systems use a light source (such as a UV or LED whitening lamp) designed to accelerate the teeth whitening process. [1]

For “light-assisted” procedures, a light is turned on and is focused directly on the teeth. This light activates the gel and the teeth whitening process begins. This is usually done in 3 to 4 sessions, with each session lasting anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, once again depending on the system used. At the end of each session, the whitening gel is removed from the teeth and a fresh coat of gel is reapplied. This is done because most teeth whitening gels contain hydrogen peroxide which is “very reactive”, meaning it works quickly and then usually stops working after 20 minutes (once again, the specific formula used will determine how long the peroxide should remain on the teeth). The entire process of in-surgery teeth whitening usually takes about 90 minutes to 2 hours from start to finish. For in-surgery procedures that do not use a light or laser source, the steps are almost identical. During each 10 to 20 minute session the gel is on your teeth but no light source is being used on the teeth.

[1] Ontiveros JC, Paravina R, Ward MT. Clinical Evaluation of a Chairside Whitening Lamp and Bleaching Efficacy. Journal of Dental Research 87(Special Issue A): 1081, 2008

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