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Teeth Whitening

by Diane L. Anderson, D.D.S.


Whitening is a procedure that is designed to lighten the color of your teeth. When performed by a licensed professional and done properly, whitening should not harm your teeth or gums. Tooth discoloration has many causes. The most common include aging and consumption of staining substances such as coffee, tea, colas, tobacco, red wine, etc. Simply, anything that will stain your carpet will stain your teeth.


Almost anyone is a candidate for teeth whitening. However, treatment may not be as effective for some as it is for others. Experience shows that people with dark yellow or yellowish brown teeth sometimes achieve better whitening results that those with gray or bluish-gray teeth. Your dentist can determine if you are a viable candidate for this procedure with an oral exam, including a shade assessment.


There are different types of whitening offered by our office. One is ZOOM! in-office whitening. This process can be done in one visit but may require following up with home bleaching depending on how your teeth respond to the treatment. The appointment takes between one and one and a half hours. The advantage of in-office whitening is that we do the work for you and you spend less overall time whitening your teeth. The disadvantages include some of the normal inconveniences associated with dental treatment, such as having to keep your mouthh open for the duration of the procedure and the increased costs as compared to take-home whitening.


Take-home whitening is a process that can be done anywhere, not just at home. It involves wearing a custom-made whitening tray that looks like a thin, transparent night guard. You fill the tray with a mild whitening gel and then need to wear this tray for a specified period of time each day. This procedure must be continued over a period of time that generally extends from 2-4 weeks. The advantages of take-home whitening include convenience and possible less cost. The disadvantages include the inconvenience of wearing the whitening tray and that your results will depend on your consistent use of the tray.


For questions or more information on whitening, call the office of Diane Anderson, D.D.S. in Temecula at (951) 676-6656.