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Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening, a.k.a. Bleaching


Your teeth will darken over time.  Changes in the color of your teeth can be caused by such factors such as the food and beverages consumed (like coffee, tea, red wine, and soda).  Other known factors for discoloration may include childhood medications and illnesses, tobacco use, and improper hygiene.

Restoring your natural white smile, or giving you one if you were not lucky enough to be born with it, is a priority for our dental whitening team.  We can provide a variety of options for whitening your smile.

Tooth Whitening Services are very popular and common place now.  Everyone sees the growing market for whiter teeth. There are many over the counter and dental office solutions.  Generally, the whitening process has not been predictable and misunderstood. 

Why Teeth Are That Color & How Whitening/Bleaching Works

To begin, let’s discuss how the tooth whitening process works.  Teeth are a crystal structure.  Their intrinsic color is due to large natural pigment and stain molecules trapped within the microstructure of your teeth.  These color molecules, called chromophores, are responsible for reflecting the color that you see.  The larger the molecules, the more chromophores they contain, the darker your teeth are.  That’s just how it works. 

As with eye, hair, and skin color, you also inherit your tooth color.  In addition to this natural color, all teeth darken with time.  Stains absorbed into the microstructure of the teeth and color molecules within tooth structure continuously join together, forming larger and therefore darker molecules.  Therefore they darken with time, and things you eat and drink.

Whitening (bleaching) of teeth occurs when peroxide gels are applied to them.  All peroxide gels work by forming hydrogen peroxide as their end product, which breaks down to water and numerous gaseous byproducts including molecular oxygen, oxygen ions, hydrogen ions, and free radicals.  The gaseous byproducts are the bleaching factors.

All of the bleaching factors work together to cause aggressive microscopic physical and chemical disintegration of those large color molecules and then their physical removal.  We want chemical conversion of the large, dark color molecules into ultra-small colorless or white molecules which have no chromophores.  Depending upon how much of this process is accomplished, your teeth will get whiter. 

What Makes Ours Different From The Others?

Oxygenation with the scrubbing/bubbling action of the oxygen products being released and chemical conversion of the dark molecules are only effective when the whitening gels are (1) fully potent, (2) chemically influenced to produce a high percentage of free radicals (instead of simply oxygen and water), and (3) allowed extended time for the bleaching factors to diffuse into the microstructure of the teeth. Enzymes in saliva break down peroxide upon contact.  That is why most bleaching trays do not work too well - leakage- saliva into the tray, bleaching gel out of the tray.  Our techniques for tray construction, and its use, solve that problem.

Potency Factors:

Peroxides are very unstable.  That is a good thing when we want it to happen during whitening, but a bad thing when it starts to happen immediately following manufacture, sitting in a warehouse, traveling in a hot UPS truck, or stored on the shelf in a dental office. This can cause less or no effectiveness for the gels.  We have solved that problem.  Although much more costly, our gels are refrigerated from their manufacture until their use.  Refrigeration virtually stops degradation throughout all phases of storage and shipping, keeping virtually 100% of the original potency.  There is only one source for the materials that we use.

Other manufacturers try more cost effective ways of lengthening the shelf-life of bleaching gels with formulations that make them more stable.  These include using an anhydrous gel base and making the pH acidic.  This renders them less effective by slowing degradation, and makes your teeth more sensitive by causing osmotic force on the dentin tubules in your teeth, irritating the pulp.  The more stable peroxide gels are, the less they work.

We use a FULLY AQUEOUS BASE and NEUTRAL or BASIC pH, significantly reducing pulpal bleaching sensitivity and releasing many more of the bleaching factors.

Chemically Influencing Production of Free Radicals:

Uninfluenced decomposition of peroxides leads to mostly oxygen and water, with less of the ions and free radicals that do the whitening.  The chemistry of the other gels works against what you are trying to accomplish.  Refrigeration allows the use of a higher pH, resulting in release of more effective ions and free radicals, opposed to mainly oxygen and water.  Added buffering agents also counteract the acidic effect of the hydrogen ions produced, keeping the pH non-acidic as desired.

EXTENDING TIME of BLEACHING FACTOR RELEASE:  Studies show that at-home bleaching tray peroxides lose 60%-90% of their potency in 25-35 minutes, while other in-office  systems typically have peroxide contact of 15-45 minutes on tooth structure.  This provides little time for diffusion of bleaching factors into the microstructure of your teeth, unless you are a young child with wide open pores in your teeth.  We solve this problem by MAKING YOUR WHITENING TRAYS DIFFERENTLY - SEALING THE CERVICAL AREA AROUND THE TEETH so you get 6+ hours instead of minutes effectiveness.

END RESULT:  The extended activity time of bleaching factors with our method and products provides the daily intervals needed to thoroughly disintegrate and remove the color molecules and penetration deeply within within the tooth microstructure.  This results in thorough conversion of large, dark color molecules to ultra-small colorless and white molecules.