Enjoy a White Smile that Radiates Youth and Health
As the years pass, our teeth lose their naturally bright white color and become darker, duller or stained. Other factors, such as drinking tea, coffee or wine, smoking, taking antibiotic medications and developing tooth decay, can discolor the teeth even more significantly.
Respected cosmetic dentist Andrew Hunter performs teeth whitening in El Cajon to restore a beautifully white color to his patients’ teeth. To accommodate the diverse needs of his patients, he can whiten their teeth himself during a single office visit, or he can create customized whitening trays for his patients to use at home. Some patients benefit from a combination of these two approaches.
Whiter Teeth in a Single Visit
The fastest and safest way to achieve whiter, brighter teeth is through an in-office (also known as chair-side) professional whitening treatment. Chair-side teeth whitening also offers the most dramatic results. Though the whitening gel used in an office setting has a stronger bleaching agent, the treatment is supervised by Dr. Hunter to minimize any chances of sensitivity or discomfort.
Prior to chair-side teeth whitening treatment, Dr. Hunter will check your teeth for any signs of decay or other problems. Once your teeth have received a clean bill of health, he will proceed with the treatment.
Your gums and lips will be covered with a protective shield. The whitening gel, which contains hydrogen peroxide, will be applied to the teeth. A special light (either a plasma arc lamp or a laser) will be shined onto the teeth to accelerate the work of the whitening gel. Once activated, the hydrogen peroxide helps to break up stains and discolorations without damaging the tooth structures.
The gel will likely be left on the teeth for 15 to 20 minutes, then removed and the process will be repeated. The entire treatment will take about an hour, and teeth should lighten six to eight shades within that time.
If you are hesitant about experiencing sensitivity or discomfort from the whitening gel, your best bet is to have Dr. Hunter whiten your teeth in his office. Sensitivity and discomfort are rare, but if they do occur, the dentist can handle the issue and make you more comfortable.
Whiten in the Comfort of Your Own Home
There are many over-the-counter teeth whitening products that allow you to whiten at your convenience. However, if you choose to whiten your teeth on your own time in your own home, it is recommended that Dr. Hunter create customized whitening trays for you to use.
These trays will properly fit your mouth so you can whiten comfortably without any gel leaking out of the trays. The trays will be filled with a whitening gel containing carbamide peroxide, which is less potent than hydrogen peroxide and therefore less likely to cause sensitivity.
Dr. Hunter will take plaster molds of your teeth and send them to the laboratory that constructs your whitening trays. Once the trays are ready, he will give you instructions for properly filling them with the gel. Dr. Hunter will also explain how long to hold the trays in your mouth and for how many days. He will see you a few weeks later for a follow-up appointment.
Inquire about Teeth Whitening Treatment
For more information about chair-side whitening, at-home whitening or both, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Hunter at our practice. Call (619) 444-6157 or email us today to make your appointment.