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Teeth whitening or “bleaching” is a popular esthetic service at Hometown Dental. We offer in-office “Iveri” whitening, “Zoom” whitening as well as the take-home whitening kit option.

Teeth whitening is done when a patient desires a brighter, more esthetic smile. The peroxide-based solutions can remove stains or discolouration from the surface of the teeth. It is important to note that fillings, crowns, veneers and bonding do not respond to the whitening and therefore will not change colour. So it is important to whiten prior to major anterior restorative work and we can match to the new shade of your teeth after that.

Iveri In-office Teeth Whitening

 This system can lighten teeth 2-8 shades in 40 minutes. The gel with this system is safe for people who have sensitive teeth as the formula includes potassium nitrate (specifically combats tooth sensitivity) and xylitol (which rehydrates the teeth). The Iveri light also has a combination of red and blue light which activates the bleaching paste and protects the gums without using heat or UV rays. 

It is important that the teeth be professionally cleaned prior to bleaching to ensure the bleach can reach the tooth surface.

The process involves checking the starting shade of the teeth with a shade guide and then applying vitamin E oil to the lips for moisture. We then place a cheek retractor and dry the gums with gauze. Once dry we will protect the gums with the liquid dental dam material that will harden with the light (it keeps the peroxide from touching the gum tissue). Once the gums are protected, the pre-filled tray that looks similar to a mouthguard is placed in the mouth to have the patient bite on. The light is then turned on for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes mark, the tray is removed and a second (fresh) pre-filled tray is inserted in the mouth. The light is activated for another 20 minutes. Once completed, the tray is removed and the patient can rinse with water to remove any residual whitening gel. At this time, we check the shade with the shade guide again to see the result. The patient can then take one of the trays home with a small touch-up tube of peroxide to use if needed at a later date.

At-Home Teeth Whitening

Some patients prefer to have the option of whitening at home with custom-made trays. This allows them to whiten whenever they would like and they just have to purchase more whitening gel as needed. The take-home bleaching gel is not as strong as the in-office gel and therefore requires more time to whiten (often 1-2 weeks with daily whitening).

To do at-home whitening, we first must take impressions of the teeth which are used to make replica models of the patient’s jaws and teeth. On these models, we form a sheet of clear plastic over the teeth using heat and vacuum pressure (similar to the sports guard process). Once cooled, the trays are trimmed to only over the teeth and not the gums. We then supply a kit of gel with the trays and go over instructions with the patient. Once the patient owns trays, they can just buy refill tubes of whitening gel whenever they would like to brighten their smile.

Written by Hometown Dental Okotoks

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