Teeth Whitening

Why Should You Use Teeth Whitening?

Teeth Whitening, or bleaching, is a safe, quick, and inexpensive way to enhance your appearance and the beauty of your smile. It is a simple procedure that will provide you with a brighter and more confident smile.

before teeth whitening
after teeth whitening

Whitening can be utilized to correct numerous tooth discolorations, which may have been caused by staining, aging, chemical damage to teeth, excessive fluoride, food and beverages consumed (like coffee, tea, and soda), tobacco use, or improper oral hygiene. In cases of extreme tooth discoloration, crowns or veneers may be the only option.

Because of the conservative cost of whitening treatment, it is most often worth trying. You also have the option of whitening only your upper teeth or both the upper and lower teeth, depending on the visibility of your teeth when you talk and smile. Please let us know at any time if you are interested in whitening your teeth.

Key Benefits Of Teeth Whitening

  • Corrects brown, yellow, and mottled tooth staining
  • Works on anyone at least 13 years of age
  • is a near permanent solution for a “dull” smile, restoring brightness and creating a newly desired shade or color

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

The active ingredient in most teeth whiteners is some form of peroxide. Oxygen molecules from the peroxide penetrate the tooth and break down discolored molecules.

Because the oxygen molecules spread throughout the entire tooth, it is not necessary for the whitening gel to touch every part of the tooth for the entire tooth to be whitened.

Opalescence Whitening Procedure

Opalescence is our at-home teeth whitening system. It is highly reputable and consistently provides very satisfactory results. Opalescence has won numerous industry awards and is accredited by the American Dental Association. The whitening procedure is carried out by first taking impressions of your teeth in order for the laboratory to fabricate your custom-fit bleaching trays.

custom-fit bleaching traysAt a subsequent visit, we will ensure the comfortable fit of your lightweight, clear, plastic trays and provide you with the bleaching gel to be placed in your trays. At this visit, Dr. Hoffman will do a shade assessment and will also instruct you as to the proper use of your trays and the whitening gel.

Typically, the trays with the whitening gel will be worn each day for about 30 minutes for approximately 7-10 days. In most cases, significant, and sometimes dramatic, whitening will take place in this time period without altering primary tooth structure or existing dental work in any way.

In the future, your teeth may darken. If this occurs, only an occasional treatment or “touch-up” will be necessary to maintain your results. Opalescence Whitening is a safe system that uses the latest in bleaching technology resulting in improvements for yellowing, aging, or stained teeth.

Success Rates

In general, teeth whitening is successful in at least 90% of patients, though it may not be an option for everyone. Consider whitening if your teeth are darkened from age, coffee, tea, or smoking. Teeth that appear yellow, brown or orange respond better to whitening. Other types of gray stains, caused by fluorosis, smoking, or tetracycline are lightened, but results are not as dramatic and take longer to achieve. It is important to remember that crowns or veneers may be more appropriate for severely stained teeth.

Teeth Whitening Considerations

Teeth whitening will not affect fillings, veneers, crowns, and bridges; however, these restorations can be replaced to match the results of your whitening.

Over-the-counter whitening products, such as tooth whitening strips, brush-on gels, and toothpastes, are available for purchase at drug stores and pharmacies but are not supervised by your dentist. These products cannot compare to the predictability and results of professionally provided whitening systems. Additionally, these products are much less powerful and may not be strong enough to effectively whiten your teeth. They can take many weeks or months to maybe whiten your teeth a shade or two and many do not work at all. Since these over-the-counter products can harm the teeth and gums and have lower success rates, it is better to use the bleaching system that our practice recommends.

Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Whitening

What is teeth whitening?

Whitening or bleaching is a process using a concentrated percentage of hydrogen peroxide (or its derivative carbamide peroxide), which is suspended in gel that lightens discolored enamel.

Should I have my teeth cleaned prior to whitening?

Yes! This is highly recommended. By removing any existing stains, plaque, and calculus from the teeth, the whitening gel is significantly more effective.

Is teeth whitening safe?

Yes, research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth under the supervision of a dentist is safe. In fact, many dentists consider whitening the safest cosmetic dental procedure available. Keep in mind that it is not recommended for children under 13 years of age or women who are pregnant or lactating.

Will whitening weaken my teeth?

No! Whitening will not weaken your teeth. Opalescence whitening gel includes PF (potassium nitrate and fluoride). Potassium nitrate has been shown to help reduce sensitivity. Fluoride has been shown to help reduce caries and strengthen enamel. Together they help to improve the overall health of the teeth.

Are there any side effects?

There is no pain associated with this treatment. Some people may experience temporary increased tooth sensitivity to cold during treatment. Sensitivity does not mean damage has been caused to your teeth. Cold sensitivity during treatment is temporary and will dissipate within one to three days after interruption or completion of the treatment. To help prevent sensitivity, Dr. Hoffman will administer a chair-side fluoride gel treatment just prior to whitening your teeth.

How long do the results last?

By following some simple post-whitening instructions, your teeth will be lighter than they were before. We recommend brushing, flossing, and rinsing twice daily. Your results will be much more long-term than over-the-counter products and systems. Whitening results typically last several years. Occasionally, a “touch-up” may be required because your teeth can darken, but this also depends on personal habits. For example, those who smoke or drink more coffee or tea will need to “touch-up” more often. If you require more whitening gel for any “touch-ups”, it is available through our office.


For more information concerning whitening treatment go to https://www.opalescence.com (Opalescence Tooth Whitening Systems)

Ready to improve your smile!

Contact us with any questions or to schedule an appointment.

Call Us: Exton Office Phone Number 610-524-0115 Request an appointment