One of the most requested dental treatments is teeth whitening. Up to 90% of patients report that they want “whiter teeth”. Whitening contains one or two types of bleach, hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Both bleaches are able to break down stains and some patients get up to seven shades lighter results.

There are three types (levels) of teeth whitening that can be done.

The first and simplest is over the counter treatment. Simple stain reducing toothpaste and “strips” can be very effective and quick and easy to use. These work best on minor stains and can brighten your smile with regular use.

The second choice is at home bleaching trays. These are custom made at the dental office and fit snugly, but have a small reservoir to place the bleach. To start the process most people start by doing nightly bleaching for two or more weeks and then utilize the trays once or twice a month for “touch ups”.

The strongest and most effective bleaching is in office. The appointment is up to two hours long and provides instant results. You can also combine this with at home bleach trays to keep your new smile bright!

While many people assume that any of these choices will end with perfect, bright white teeth, that is not always the case. All whitening works best on yellow teeth, which is from aging, tobacco use, food and drink (red wine and tea and coffee and red sauces). Brown and gray teeth don’t respond as well. Trauma to the teeth and previous medicine use (in-utero or as a child) may yield less than ideal results. Whitening also does not work on crowns or veneers or fillings. This is very important if you have had previous restorative work done or plan to have work done in the immediate future.

If you are planning to have restorative work done and plan to do any type of bleaching, you need to do it before the restorative process begins so that all the teeth are the same shade and translucency. Also, we recommend getting a professional cleaning as close as possible to any bleaching treatment, for the best results.

If you have questions concerning bleaching or would like to schedule an appointment for impressions for at home bleaching trays or in office bleaching treatment, please call us at 303.773.3373 or email us at