I admit it. Until recently, dental bleaching results have been a bit unpredictable and, at times, a bit underwhelming. We have always been able to make noticeable improvement, but often not as much as we would like. That is officially no longer the case!
“Deep Bleaching”, a trademarked protocol, was developed by Dr. Rod Kurthy, a dentist in California. I always used to tell patients that the only way to get teeth “Hollywood White” was with 6,8,12, or even more bonded porcelain veneers. These are great, but fairly expensive. I no longer say that, because for the cost less than 2 really white veneers you can have 28 really white teeth with Deep Bleaching!
So why is Deep Bleaching so much more effective than other techniques? First let’s talk about bleaching in general. Incidentally, all bleaching techniques will usually cause temporary sensitivity that goes away.
Whitening toothpastes. These products really are not effective enough even to discuss. I have never had anyone tell me they could see any difference from whitening toothpastes.
The way they “work” is with abrasives that help get a little more stain off the teeth, but that’s all.
Other over-the-counter products. These rinses, paint-ons, strips, etc. will often make enough difference to notice, but the improvements are very modest.
In dental office bleaching. Products like Zoom, BriteSmile, and others are used in the dental office in an appointment of an hour or so. These techniques work very fast, but somewhat unpredictably. Some people will see very nice improvement in color, and some will see less.
Custom tray bleaching. Models are made of the teeth and thin custom made trays are made for applying bleaching materials over a period of 1 to 2 weeks. With these trays, most of the bleaching material has washed away after an hour, so these are usually used for an hour a day. Most people will see very nice improvement, but still not spectacular.
Deep Bleaching. Deep bleaching uses a combination of several techniques to enhance the bleaching process with a minimum of sensitivity.
First, extremely precise Deep Bleaching trays are made. These are much more precise than normal trays, and actually produce a positive seal around all the teeth, greatly enhancing their effectiveness.
Second, these trays are used with a potent bleaching material in an in-office session. A slight improvement will be noted, but more importantly, the pores in the enamel will be slightly opened to enhance the next step. Third, the trays are used with a gentle bleaching material overnight for 2 weeks. These trays seal so well, the bleaching continues all night. At the end of the two weeks the color change is major.
Finally, a second in- office session is accomplished. And the result…WOW. Did I say Wow? WOW! If you’ve always wished you had white teeth, ask me to smile and look at mine!
Dr. David Ward practices dentistry in Big Spring and is a past president of the Permian Basin District Dental Society. All of his past dental articles are available on his web site at www.DavidWardDDS.com