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In simple terms, tooth whitening is a process that involves the penetration of a whitening agent called a peroxide into the tooth structure. Over a period of time, depending on the concentration of the peroxide, extrinsic stains (like coffee, tea, wine, curry, smoking, etc.) break down through a process called oxidation.

As a result, teeth become lighter. Deeply stained teeth will require a higher concentration of the peroxide or multiple treatments with the peroxide to achieve the desired result. It should be noted that deeply stained teeth will see the most improvements in their initial treatments. For confidence in appearance, bleaching technology allows us to provide improvements in yellowing, aging, or stained teeth.

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Yes, it is safe. Tooth whitening does not alter the tooth chemistry nor does it weaken or “remove” healthy tooth structure during application. It is also safe to use with fillings, crowns, bridges, implants, or any other restorative work. However, it will not change the color of these restorations.

There are a few things to be aware of. Because tooth whitening is not selective to where it whitens, anatomical cracks within teeth called “craze lines” may become more apparent because the peroxide penetrates these areas more readily. Sometimes, this gives the craze lines a more pronounced appearance.

Not to worry, this is normal and not harmful. The other thing to be aware of is tooth sensitivity. In all forms of tooth whitening, tooth sensitivity after treatment is expected. This is also a normal reaction, and the sensitivity is only transient. Within a few days, the teeth will return to their normal state. Using a desensitizing toothpaste will greatly reduce the amount of sensitivity to be expected as well as the time it takes to return to normal.


Evergreen Dental offers the in-office Spa-Dent laser whitening system. The Spa-Dent whitening process provides the maximum whitening results in the least amount of time all under the supervision of our dental team. The peroxide gel formulation is placed in our dual arch mouth trays with the precise dosage of whitening material. The unique blue LED light activates the gel, providing powerful whitening.

For optimal results, we recommend a dental cleaning prior to whitening since plaque and tartar block the penetration of the peroxide into the tooth. For the first 24 hours, we recommend avoiding foods that have the propensity to stain.

Another tooth whitening alternative is take-home bleaching trays. An impression is taken to make a specialized “mouthguard” or “tray” to hold the bleach against the teeth. The bleaching trays are generally used for a period of 1-2 weeks based on the desired amount of whitening.

Different products allow for the trays to be used during the day or at night and for different lengths of time based on the manufacturer’s instructions. When your treatment is done, the trays can be saved and reused for future at-home whitening and/or touch-ups.

Over-the-counter whitening products such as whitening strips are a third alternative. These products can be purchased online or in grocery stores/pharmacies. These products use sticky strips with peroxide gel that get placed and pressed over teeth for 30-60 minutes.

Generally, they are used for a period of 1-2 weeks depending on the level of whitening needed. Since they are over the counter, the peroxide is not usually as concentrated and it usually takes longer to get the desired color. The other thing to be aware of is these materials are generic and not custom fitting thus inconsistencies in the level and location of whitening can occur. Nonetheless, they are a viable option for tooth whitening.