Teeth Bleaching

We use Plasma Arc Light in our clinic. How is the procedure accomplished?

The teeth and gums are first evaluated to determine if the dental and gum tissues are sufficiently healthy to do the whitening procedure. The teeth are evaluated for conditions such as bondings, fillings and crowns that will remain almost the same color as they are. The outsides of the teeth are cleaned with a thick dental cleaning paste. The surfaces of the teeth are prepared for one minute with a wetting agent. A 35% peroxide gel is painted on the teeth. The "Plasma Arc Light" is shined on the each tooth for three seconds and the process is immediately repeated. The peroxide gel is allowed to remain on the teeth for 8 minutes; the gel is then rinsed off and the above procedure is repeated again.

We use Plasma Arc Light in our clinic.

It breaks the peroxide gel down causing it to release millions of particles of oxygen. See Close up of Whitening "Crystal" which delivers light.

Can I be harmed by this procedure?

Yes (the tooth and/or gums can be over-heated), but only if the recommended procedures and precautions are not adhered to by the technician applying the light. In order for any damage to occur the tooth and/or gums must be exposed to the light for a long period of time. The light machine is set to shut off automatically at the correct time.

How long does the whitening last?

2-5 years have been reported. If you continue to maintain the result with care and have your teeth cleaned every 6 –12 months, the result can maintain 5 years. If you have poor oral hygiene, do not have your teeth cleaned every 6-12 months, drink a lot of coffee and tea, smoke, eat a lot of food with staining spices like saffron, mustard, have wine often, you are less likely to maintain the newly achieved whiteness for a lengthy period of time.

What are the most common side effects if any?

The most common side effect is sensitivity to the light. The light emits heat as well as radiant energy. The light is applied two times for three seconds to each teeth separated by one minute and this is repeated again 13 minutes later. There are reports of patients who felt discomfort. The recommended procedure to prevent this problem is to have the patient take two tablets of Advil (Ibuprofen), one hour before the whitening.

Will I feel any pain or discomfort during or after the lightening procedure?

While we cannot give an answer that is 100% assured for every individual we can say the we will follow the recommended procedure rigidly. We will recommend medicine be taken one hour before the procedure. If discomfort is felt when the light is activated on the tooth predetermined signal from the patient will prompt the light technician to turn off the power instantly. Anecdotes of discomfort after the procedure at home have been reported, all of which were "mild". The discomfort experienced can depend on a number of things such as the temperature of the food or beverage being consumed, the consistency of the food (crunchy), any other medications being taken and the existence of previously undiagnosed dental or gum problem.

Can a tooth which has become dark (non vital) because of nerve death due to a previous accident, or has had root canal treatment be successfully whitened?

Only "vital" teeth are susceptible to whitening

Why is the plasma light procedure more desirable?

Efficient and time. The result is achieved in one a single or two visit that takes about one hour. The above is only a partial list of the criteria that your dentist will consider in determining whether or not this procedure is appropriate for you. Be sure to ask your dentist if he / she considers you an ideal candidate for porcelain veneers.

Risks and Limitations

Since the oral cavity contains many kinds of bacteria and experiences many temperature and/or pressure changes throughout a typical day, all dental restorations contain some degree of risk. It is important to follow good oral hygiene and keep the margin (the area where the tooth and the veneer meet) as clean as possible so that decay doesn't develop underneath the veneer. Restorations with margins above the gumline are easier to maintain than those with margins below the gumline. In order to minimize these risks, it is important that you follow all of your dentist's instructions, both before and after the procedure.