At-Home Bleaching: Custom vs. Disposable Trays
Whitening teeth at home using custom trays is the most consistent method to whiten teeth. Unlike over-the-counter products, custom trays are made specifically for your teeth, and the accompanying gel has the highest concentration of carbamide peroxide available.
However, for patients looking for a quicker and more portable option, we offer disposable whitening trays. These trays adapt to the shape of your teeth as you wear them, and are disposable after one use. No impression is necessary, and the bleaching gel is pre-filled in the tray.
Custom Trays: How They Work
Once you decide to start whitening, the process is very simple. We take an impression of your teeth and pour up a stone model. This model is what we use to make the plastic bleaching trays. The plastic is molded to your models for a custom fit, and the trays are trimmed and smoothed before we deliver them to you.
When you pick up your trays, you have the option of purchasing high or low concentration bleaching gel. Although, the higher concentration whitens teeth faster, it can also cause more sensitivity than the lower concentration.
If you have a history of sensitivity or you are interested in just a subtle change, then the lower concentration bleach may be better for you. Either way, once you have your trays and your bleaching gel, you're ready to begin whitening your teeth.
Using the trays:
You should put them in one at a time to prevent excess saliva from getting the the trays. We suggest that you brush your teeth or rinse with water before using them.
Put a small dot of gel on the front surface of the inside of the tray over each tooth to be whitened.
Once the gel is in the tray, place the tray over your teeth.
Some gel may leak onto the surface of your gums. This gel should be wiped away as it can cause a burning sensation and minor surface damage to your gums if left there for several minutes.
Repeat these steps with the other tray.
The gel works best if it stays on your teeth for at least 30 minutes to one hour. You should not eat with the trays in place and drink only water during this time. When you remove the trays, rinse your mouth with water to remove the remaining gel. You can clean the trays by lightly brushing and rinsing them.
You may repeat this process as often as you wish until you are satisfied with the color of your teeth.
You should be aware that the more often you use the gel, the more likely you are to experience sensitivity. As stated earlier, the higher concentration bleach has an increased tendency to cause this sensitivity.
It is also important to note that bleaching gel is not effective at removing all stains that you may have, and it works best with yellow surface stains. Deep stains or stains that are grayish in color may not respond to bleaching treatments, and any existing restorations such as fillings or crowns will not whiten with the bleaching gel.
If you are interested in whitening, we suggest that you discuss it with us before your final restorations are placed.