Whitening procedures have effectively restored the smiles of people with stained, yellow, and otherwise discolored teeth. Products like coffee and red wine are notorious for staining teeth. External stains respond best to bleaching. Some deeper stains caused by medications or trauma can be treated with extensive bleaching, but may require a veneer to achieve an optimal result.
Some commercially available "whitening toothpastes" can be somewhat effective at removing stains and making teeth slightly brighter, but many have abrasive substances that wear the enamel. External bleaching uses a peroxide gel to remove the stains without the wear.
Porcelain veneers, crowns, and bonded restorations are minimally affected by the bleaching procedures. It is important to note these areas, so that a beautiful final result is achieved. Many times, before a front tooth crown is placed, we will recommend bleaching so that the final restoration matches a nice white smile.
Our office has Crest White strips for mild cases, take home trays for average cases, and the Zoom system for more advanced cases. Although called the "one hour" bleaching, it usually takes between 90 to 120 minutes, and should be followed by the take home trays. Professional bleaching is a very effective and long lasting way to create a nice smile. Additional bleach is available if, after a year or more, people want to brighten their results. Most cases stay significantly lighter than they started for years.