Many of Dr. Carpenter's patients have mentioned a desire to have a brighter smile.
Dr. Carpenter often whitens teeth in the office with a concentrated, very powerful whitening product. This usually takes about an hour and most patients watch TV during the procedure or listen to music. The most common complaint is sensitivity which lasts about one to two days in most people.
Another option is take home whitening trays. In this procedure, a custom-made tray is vacuum-formed onto a model of the individual's mouth.The design of the tray insures that there is close contact between the bleaching gel and the surface of the teeth, without the tray impinging on the gums and causing discomfort. The tray also prevents contact between the gel and the saliva. Custom-made trays are more comfortable to wear, and less visible to others as they can be made of a clear material. Irritation of the gums can occur because of chemical irritation from the peroxide, or from physical contact of the tray. Both of these are more likely to occur with stock trays because of their poor fit. With custom-made trays, all of the excess gel can be removed easily by wiping it away from the edges of the tray as soon as the tray has been inserted into the mouth and pushed home into position over the teeth.
Gels supplied by dentists for home use in "Home tray vital bleaching" have higher levels of peroxide compounds than over-the-counter products and thus are more effective at treating internal stains. As with the adhesive strips, it is reasonably common to experience mild tooth sensitivity (particularly to cold and hot foods) from the action of the peroxide within the teeth, which resolves within several days after the treatment has stopped. Several professional products may have desensitizing agents such as potassium nitrate or fluoride included, which means that problems of tooth sensitivity will be less. Sensitivity can be reduced by limiting the number of hours that the trays are worn each day, or by using the trays every alternate day. Patients whose teeth are sensitive to thermal changes before whitening commences are likely to notice an increase in this sensitivity during the whitening treatment.
Patients keep the trays and obtain new stocks of bleaching gel from Dr. Carpenter to repeat the whitening periodically. The trays will continue to fit your mouth for many years in most cases. Bleaching using home trays will be unlikely to alter the staining effects of certain types of antibiotic drugs (e.g. tetracycline) that may have been used during childhood.