Teeth Whitening

Having a beautiful smile may be even easier than you think. Many people achieve the look they’ve been dreaming of with our simple “bleaching” procedure.


What are the details of teeth whitening?

It’s safe, quick, and inexpensive. Just let us know at any appointment if you would like to whiten your teeth. You can lighten only your upper teeth or both the upper and lower, depending on how much you show when you talk and smile.

In only a day or two your custom bleach splints will be ready for you to pick up. We provide you with a special bleaching agent that you put into the clear splints. With only a few hours of wear per day, our special bleaching agent bubbles stains right out of your enamel in a very short time without altering tooth structure or existing dental work in any way. When your teeth reach the desired brightness, only occasional treatment is needed to maintain your new smile. We’ll want to take “after” photos at your next appointment.

Dental whitening can be used to correct tooth discoloration. Discolorations can be caused by staining, aging, or chemical damage to teeth. Using the latest in bleaching technology, we can offer a safe method for creating a beautiful “brilliant” smile.  Whitening will not work on everyone the same way and results can be unpredictable in cases of extreme tooth discoloration.  In certain cases, crowns or veneers may be the only choice, but because of the low cost of bleaching treatments, bleaching is nearly always worth a solid try.

How is teeth whitening done?

There are several different methods used to whiten your teeth depending upon the time, effort, and money that you choose to invest in your smile.  None of the techniques requires any anesthesia. “In office” whitening also called “power bleaching” is the most effective and quickest way to lighten your teeth.  This technique is done in only one visit that lasts slightly over an hour.  Patients typically lay back comfortably and either watch television or nap until we are finished.  Take home trays are sent home with you to wear for a couple of hours each day for a short while in order to maximize and maintain your new smile.

A less expensive option is the older technique of wearing custom fitted trays at home for a time period each day ranging from two hours to overnight with whitening agent placed inside.  The key to this technique is your persistence in wearing the trays once you’ve gone home.  Different concentrations of whitening agent are available and an appropriate choice will be made for you by the doctor. 

Key Benefits of Teeth Whitening

  • Corrects brown, yellow and spotted tooth staining
  • Works on people of any age although Dr. Chunn usually will not whiten the teeth of children or young teenagers.
  • Is a near-permanent solution for a “dull” smile, restoring brightness and brings a smile alive

An impression is taken to make a specialized “mouthguard” or “stent” to hold the bleach against the teeth. The material is used each night for a couple of hours for a week or two, and at the end of this time, significant whitening will occur. In some cases, the change is nothing short of brilliant. For confidence in appearance, bleaching technology allows us to promise improvements in yellowing, aging or stained teeth. For very severely stained teeth, crowns or porcelain veneers may be more appropriate.

Special Considerations for Teeth Whitening

Over-the-counter bleaching agents are available for purchase at drug stores and pharmacies. They are sold at a lower concentration and typically the trays do not fit your teeth or the strips do not stay in the correct position well.  Having said that, we occassionally see patients who have gotten favorable results from these products. However, since these products can cause harm to the gums and teeth, it’s better to use products that our practice recommends.  The doctor will choose an appropriate product for you. Most importantly, you’ll want to make sure that a dentist or hygienist has thoroughly examined your teeth prior to whitening to prevent damage to your teeth or from causing pain.  As you can imagine, an improperly trained person in the mall or spa is certainly not trained to recognize situations where whitening can cause severe problems.