Tooth whitening (or bleaching) is one of the most popular areas of cosmetic dentistry. Even subtle changes to shading can make someone look years younger.
Several factors can contribute to the darkening of teeth, including the effects of age, certain foods and drinks, smoking, and medications.
Temporary Bleaching, a process in which whitening involves placing a bleaching gel in contact with the teeth, causing oxidation of stains and subsequent lightening. There is a wide variety of systems available, ranging from those done in the dental office to dentist supervised at-home systems. We offer both systems in our office, the in-office system we use is the ZOOM2 whitening system as featured on the show "Extreme Makeover"- the whitening process takes about an hour. Results from temporary bleaching vary for each individual, and require occasional touch ups to maintain the teeth at their current shade.
Permanent Whitening is much more predictable than the above method. In permanent bleaching, the teeth are actually veneered, or covered with porcelain laminates.
With this method, even the darkest of teeth can be lightened, and the final resultant shade cen be as white as you like. See "Porcelain Veneers" and "Photo Gallery" for more information.