What exactly is tray teeth whitening?
Dr. Chris Rae uses the most common tray-based teeth whitening system, which involves the use of clear plastic trays ("custom" trays) that have been fabricated, and adjusted so they fit comfortably over the patient's teeth. These whitening trays are then sent home with you, along with a high quality bleaching gel. When performing their treatments, the patient places whitener into their bleaching trays and then seats them over their teeth. The trays are worn for multiple hours per day (or overnight), for a series of days or weeks (per Dr. Rae's instructions), as the effects of the whitening process take place.
How long does tray teeth whitening take?
The treatment period required for a tray teeth whitening system will vary depending on a number of factors such as the concentration of peroxide whitener being used, and the type of staining that exists. Some tooth discoloration is simply more resistant to treatment than others.
How long will the whitening results last?
Tooth-lightening effects that a person achieves can last somewhat indefinitely, but in most cases it is typically found to last one to three years, or longer in some cases.
How often will touch-up whitening treatment be required?
There are numerous factors that can cause tooth staining. Even if a person's teeth have been whitened, stains will continue to occur. Some patients need touch ups more frequently than others, but typically whitening is every six months to a year.
Tray whitening process steps:
Step 1) Taking impressions for the bleaching trays.
Custom bleaching trays are generally clear, and made from a soft flexible plastic. One tray is made for the upper teeth, and a separate tray is made for the lower teeth. These trays are trimmed so they fully cover each tooth, but come just short of lying on the wearer's gum tissue. These trays are individually fabricated, and fitted for the person who will wear them. This will help maximize a whitening system's effectiveness, and minimize its potential for creating side effects.
Step 2) Placing whitening gel into the bleaching trays.
Small dabs of the whitener are placed into each bleaching tray, and then the trays are inserted over the person's teeth. As a means of minimizing the amount of whitening gel that is used during each application, The Whitener is usually just placed in those aspects of the tray that touch the front side of the teeth. It is placed only in those portions of the tray that cover over teeth being treated
(i.e. the front teeth).
After the whitener has been placed into the tray, and the tray has been inserted over the person's teeth, there will usually be some excess gel that escapes from the tray onto their gum tissue. As a way of minimizing the potential for gum irritation, it is best to wipe this excess whitener away with your finger, or a toothbrush.
Step 3) Wearing teeth whitening trays.
There are specific whitener guidelines you must stay within. Many people perform their whitening treatments overnight, but you will need to adjust the duration of your tray teeth whitening sessions to your comfort level. If you maximize your exposure to your system's whitener you will see results more quickly however, extended treatment times are more likely to cause you to experience side effects (most likely minor tooth sensitivity, or gum irritation). You also have the option of using the trays less often so that you experience fewer side effects. Along this same line, when you first begin to perform whitening treatments it's a good idea to time the first few so they run for a relatively shorter duration as opposed to a comparatively longer one. This way you can slowly ease into the whitening process, and get an idea of how you and your teeth will respond. You can then adjust your treatment duration accordingly.
Step 4) Monitoring the progress of your tooth whitening process.
Dr. Rae will appoint you for periodic follow-up appointments during the course of your bleaching activities so he can monitor your whitening progress, and address any side effects you have encountered. If you experience side effects before your next scheduled appointment, please call our office at (386) 624-7658.
Bleaching treatments are usually continued until that point in time when you, and Dr. Rae have become satisfied with the color change that have taken placed, or until a point is reached where no more whitening effects seem to occur. After evaluating the current state of your progress, Dr. Rae will, if he feels that more whitening is possible, will dispense additional whitener to you.
Step 5) Ending your at-home teeth bleaching treatments.
Dr. Rae will work with you to determine a reasonable stopping point for your whitening activities.
You should always include your dentist in your teeth-whitening plans!