Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening, also called bleaching, is a simple and non invasive dental treatment used to brighten the color of natural teeth. There are several ways to brighten your teeth, each with it's benefits, but generally it is an easy and cost effective way to enhance your smile.

There are a myriad of over the counter products available to try to whiten teeth. Basically, the toothpastes and rinses are effective to maintain whitened teeth, but don't actually whiten. Then there are gel type products with various types of trays or strips can be somewhat effective in whitening teeth. However, these can be expensive in that it may take several packages to achieve the desired results and they are cumbersome to use.

The best way to whiten your teeth is with dentist fabricated custom mouth trays and products dispensed by the dentist to suit your needs. This is generally more effective than over the counter products as the fitted trays and greater variety of whiteners available through the dentist allow for more customized and efficient methods. This procedure involves a visit to the dentist for evaluation of a person's particular needs and impressions of the teeth in order for the fabrication of the trays. A second visit is then necessary for the delivery of the trays and whitening product along with specific instruction. Follow up appointments are then scheduled as needed to assess the progress and make adjustments with the whitening products if needed. Fees for this procedure vary, but are around $300.

For those not patient enough to use home products, office procedures are available. However, often they are not more effective in the long run than the above methods and actually require several treatments or the use of home products and trays to maintain results. Office procedures are an excellent choice for severely stained teeth, especially if home methods were tried first with limited success, but generally cost $500-$600, take and hour of your time, and sometimes can be uncomfortable.

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