Teeth whitening removes stains and can bring the shade to where it was at a much earlier age. Results will vary per patient and there should be realistic expectations. Yet in most all cases, the end result is whiter, brighter looking teeth! We offer custom fitted trays that fit your mouth and the shape of your teeth exactly and a whitening gel is applied. We find that this treatment offers the best results with the least amount of sensitivity.
Does teeth whitening work for everyone?
Dr. Darren McKeever: Teeth whitening actually should work for everyone. The results of teeth whitening may vary though. Therefore, patients may feel that it didn’t work for them because they didn’t achieve exactly what it was they were looking for. It really is dependent on what caused the coloration in the teeth that the patient is trying to have removed. If it’s just normal coloration, teeth whitening should work very well for everyone. Some people, though, have had their teeth stained through antibiotics as children or other medications that may provide a much deeper staining within the tooth. Those bleaching cases are a lot harder to get a successful result with the patient. But the teeth definitely will get lighter. It’s really just a matter of the patient’s perception of how white they really want their teeth to be.
Do you have a unique process you follow for teeth whitening?
Dr. Darren McKeever: Well, the process that I like the most in my office is actually patient trays that are fabricated to fit the patient. They don’t fit anybody else. And we use a gel that is inserted into the trays and the patient does the bleaching at home. I’ve done laser bleaching. I’ve done the light bleaching. I’ve done all the different types of bleaching, but I find that the trays are the ones that have the most control over where the patient wants to wind up and provide the least amount of side effects to the patient. At this time in my office, we’ve basically narrowed it down to just the one type of treatment which is patients wearing the trays.
How is professional teeth whitening better than teeth whitening kits you buy in the store?
Dr. Darren McKeever: Whereas teeth whitening kits in the store are incredibly effective, they have to fit the teeth of the patient who is going to use them. If the teeth aren’t lined up very, very straight, and don’t have different angulations or gaps or crowding, then they’ll work pretty well. But if the teeth aren’t lined up ideally, I find the trays work so much better.
Are there any side effects to teeth whitening?
Dr. Darren McKeever: The biggest side effect that we see in teeth whitening (as long as the patient doesn’t have any cavities and they’ve been checked by a dentist to make sure that’s true), the biggest side effect that we see is sensitivity. More often than not, sensitivity is the result of either people who clench their teeth and have little micro-cracks in their teeth or they have some recession around the gum line and the root is exposed. But the biggest cause of sensitivity, that I find, is people who just over-do it. They’re bleaching their teeth too frequently. You don’t need to bleach your teeth literally every night again once you’ve gotten them to the color you want. Basically, they over-do it and they create sensitivity.
How long does a tooth whitening treatment last and how often should people get their teeth whitened? You just pretty much touched on that but how long does it last?
Dr. Darren McKeever: Well, you know, that’s really a great question. People sort of think it’s a treatment that is going to wear off. Teeth whitening isn’t a coat of paint that’s going to dim or dull over time. What’s happening with teeth whitening, is you’re literally removing the color out of the teeth. It’s almost like you’re taking them back in time to when you were 12 or 15 or 17 years old. Basically, you’re going to re-stain them all over again. The issue there is that as we all mature through life, teeth do get darker, a little bit quicker, as we get older. A tooth whitening situation should actually last for years. More often than not, with the trays that we utilize, people just do a booster once every few years for maybe a week or so to bring them back to the color that they wanted.
If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Darren McKeever, visit www.mckeeverdentalcare.com or call 973-839-8180 to schedule an appointment.