What is Dental Whitening and Which Patient is a Good Candidate

Dr. Jeffrey Norden, DDS, discusses teeth whitening.

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Dr. Jeffrey Norden, DDS, discusses teeth whitening.
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Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Jeffrey Norden, DMD

Duration: 2 minutes, 39 seconds

One of the first things people ask me when they’re trying to improve their smile is should I get teeth whitening. Well, I think teeth whitening is absolutely the first step in improving your smile.

There’s many different ways to go about it. Your choices are going to your local pharmacy and picking up something off the shelf to seeing your dentist and asking them what type of tooth-whitening options they have. Typically, they would have take-home varieties, where they would take molds of your teeth, make stone models and make you special thin trays that you can put tooth whitener gel in them, wear them during the day or overnight. 

More often times, your dentist would also have an in-office power whitening, which involves the dentist doing the procedure for you using a much more highly-concentrated gel. All teeth whitening involves using a form of peroxide in a gel. The strength of that peroxide is going to be what influences the amount of whitening and the time it takes to do the whitening. When you go to the pharmacy and pick something off the shelf, typically you’re going to be using a much lower strength because it has got less chance of harming your teeth or tissues.

When you go to the dental office, the dentist often will be able to offer you choices that include an in-office power whitening, which will use a much more powerful gel, and it can only be done by a dentist because it’s important to be able to protect the teeth and the gums during the process and also for the dentist to make sure that you’re a candidate for teeth whitening.

Once you get your teeth whitened, it’s important to know that if you’re a smoker or a wine drinker or coffee or tea, all those things are going to stain your teeth again. And so it’s important to know that you may need to repeat the process. Oftentimes, if you’ve done an in-office power whitening, the dentist might offer you trays for your teeth, so you can, at home, touch them up time to time.

For people who have crowns and fillings that have been replaced now to match the new whitened teeth, it’s important to know that you’ll have a little bit more maintenance to do. It’s important that you have some take-home trays and some gel so that you’re able to keep the natural teeth the same color as the crowns and fillings that you have in your mouth.

If you’re thinking about tooth whitening, or if you have any further questions, please contact your dentist.

Presenter: Dr. Jeffrey Norden, General Dentist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: General Dentist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.