Teeth Whitening 101: How Long Does a Session Last

Teeth Whitening 101: How Long Does a Session Last? from Gledhill Dental in Kennewick, WA Teeth whitening treatments can get you a drastically improved smile in as little as 60 minutes. Your smile is an important part of your appearance since it is one of the first things people notice during social interactions. A pearly white smile is a great way to make a solid first impression.

Teeth whitening treatments are powered by bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide and hydrogen carbamide. These chemicals remove stains from teeth surfaces and the inner layers. Their molecules penetrate past enamel into the patient’s dentist.

Teeth start off pearly white, but they pick up stains and discoloration over the years. At some point, the stains and discoloration become the most prominent part of the person’s smile. Things that lead to teeth becoming discolored and stained include the coloring in foods and beverages like beets and coffee, habits like smoking, and the effect of aging on teeth.

Fortunately, teeth whitening treatments are effective on all these types of stains. However, teeth whitening treatments are not an effective way to eliminate some stains like those caused by fluorosis, tetracycline antibiotics, and tooth decay.

Professional teeth whitening

There are many ways to go about improving the color of teeth. Over-the-counter whitening products are sold in grocery and drug stores all over, but they come with less concentrated bleaching agents since they are typically not used under dental supervision.

Professional whitening treatments performed by dentists get patients the fastest whitening treatment available. These are performed under the supervision of a dentist who has access to significantly more concentrated bleaching agents than those sold to the public.

The way things work, the more concentrated the bleaching product being used is, the shorter each whitening session will be. The highly concentrated products used by dentists are typically not left in contact with teeth for more than 90 minutes. Keeping teeth immersed in the whitening product for longer than that can weaken or damage teeth enamel.

Results are immediate with professional whitening treatments. A single session, on average, improves the whiteness of a person’s teeth by up to eight shades according to the American Academy for Cosmetic Dentistry.

Professional teeth whitening sessions are often performed with a customized mouth tray. The appliance is made from an impression of the patient’s teeth at a dental lab. It takes about two weeks from the time the impression is made for the customized mouth tray to be ready.

Lasers are sometimes used during whitening treatments to speed up the process. The laser serves as a catalyst, speeding up the reaction between hydrogen carbamide or hydrogen peroxide molecules with stains on the patient’s teeth. That can shorten the length of each whitening session to 30 to 60 minutes. A customized mouth tray is typically not needed when laser teeth whitening is performed.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Teeth Whitening in Kennewick, WA

Improve your smile with teeth whitening

Ready for whiter teeth? Give us a call or stop by our Kennewick clinic to learn more about teeth whitening treatments and your options.

Request an appointment or call Gledhill Dental at 509-800-8410 for an appointment in our Kennewick office.

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