You're probably familiar with most teeth whitening procedures, but many dental offices are now using power teeth whitening to knock out tooth stains -- and it may not be what you think. While power whitening may utilize laser dentistry, it's less about the process and more about the substance. It's called power teeth whitening because of the high level of hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredient in tooth whitening gels.
During power teeth whitening, hydrogen peroxide turns into oxygen, which penetrates your tooth enamel to break down stains set deep inside of your teeth. The higher the level of hydrogen peroxide, the more oxygen molecules are created -- the greater the amount of oxygen, the more stains are removed and the whiter your teeth will appear.
Power teeth whitening is faster and more effective than using take-home teeth whitening trays alone. Most over-the-counter tooth whitening kits contain 10 to 16 percent hydrogen peroxide, while whitening toothpastes may contain as little as one percent hydrogen peroxide. Power teeth whitening systems normally use 30 to 35 percent hydrogen peroxide for the best results possible.
A Typical Solution
There are several ways that power whitening can be achieved. The most common power bleaching procedure is laser teeth whitening -- also called in-office tooth whitening, power laser whitening gives you a brighter smile in just one dental visit.
During the procedure, your dentist will place a rubber dam over your gums to protect them from damage. The power bleaching solution is applied to your teeth and a dental laser or light is used to activate the hydrogen peroxide. The dental laser enhances the tooth whitening process, resulting in whiter teeth in about an hour. Some patients may prefer the convenience of power laser teeth whitening over other forms of power teeth whitening, which can take days or weeks to complete.
Another type of power teeth whitening combines laser teeth whitening with take-home trays. Prior to the procedure, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth. Custom trays are then designed to seal off and protect your gums from the peroxide solution. These trays will be worn at night for approximately two weeks prior to or after laser teeth whitening. The process may take longer, but the results are worth waiting for, sometimes whitening beyond the five to six shades normally attained when laser whitening is performed alone.
Power teeth whitening is also possible without the use of lasers or trays. In-office power bleaching utilizes a slightly higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide than normally used in power whitening. When applied to your teeth, the solution produces enough oxygen to remove stains without the use of a laser. The effects of the power bleaching gel continue to work for one to three days after your dental visit. Several treatments may be needed to achieve your desired result -- but in-office power bleaching can whiten your teeth four to six shades lighter.
Power Up for Your Tooth Whitening Experience!
If you're interested in power teeth whitening, you'll need to do your homework first. Visit your dentist for a thorough exam and dental cleaning prior to your power teeth whitening procedure. Some forms of power bleaching can cause tooth sensitivity, and although they are not conclusive, some studies have suggested the possibility of tooth pulp damage due to laser teeth whitening. Your dentist will determine whether you're a qualified candidate for any of the power teeth whitening procedures listed above.
The results of power whitening can last for several years if cared for properly. Once your power teeth whitening procedure is complete, be sure to maintain your smile with a proper oral hygiene regimen and regular dental visits. Avoid foods and drinks that stain teeth and don't smoke following your dental treatment. Taking care of yourself can increase your chances of a successful procedure.
Power teeth whitening can give you the whitest smile imaginable! Talk to a dentist or cosmetic dentist to see if it might be right for you.