Our teeth can discolour through the years as our enamel wears down. The wearing down of enamel allows dentin, a yellow color substance that makes the core of our teeth, to show through. This is what gives our teeth a yellowish tint. Teeth whitening helps restore teeth to a shiny white colour through the use of bleach.
Teeth whitening methods
The best method, involves the use of take home whitening kits. These professional whitening kits are purchased from your doctor for use at home. The strength of the gel used in these kits is lower than that used for in-office bleaching, and thus the gel can be applied for longer periods of time. Usually the custom made trays are worn a couple hours a day or overnight for a few days or weeks depending on the product. The beauty about this system is that if specific teeth are darker than others, you can selectively whiten those teeth until they become the same shade as the rest of the teeth, at which time all of the teeth are whitened together. The other advantage of this system is that if patients wish to whiten their teeth in the future, additional whitening product can be purchased for a fraction of the cost since the bleaching trays can be used indefinitely (as long as they still fit).
We do not recommend in-office whitening for a few reasons. First and foremost is the risk for increased sensitivity, as the strength of the solution used is much higher than the at home solutions. Economically, the cost of in-office bleaching is about 3X that of professional at home kits. Finally, in-office bleaching does not offer predictable shade results and you may end up needing a second appointment to achieve the result you are wanting.