Puyallup Valley Dental Care

Our Service Your Smile

Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening

WILL IT WORK?– Whitening is effective for most teeth. Smoking, coffee, tea, cola and certain foods make teeth darker, but whitening can be successful for teeth that are naturally dark, too.   It is most successful for teeth that have darkened over time. Most people 40-50 years of age and older have teeth that are darker than they were in the past, and can be lightened significantly. The most unpredictable teeth are those that have uneven coloration or spots of lightness or darkness.


WILL IT WORK FOR ME?– Every person is different, but almost everyone is pleased with how their smile looks after whitening.


SAFETY– The solution we are using is very similar to what has been used as an oral antiseptic for over 50 years.  It has been used for lightening teeth extensively since 1986 with very few problems.  Lasting side effects have not been found.  The most common side effect is minor gum or tooth sensitivity, which happens in less than 10% of people.  Most of the time sensitivity passes after the first few treatments, and is almost always gone after treatment is complete.


LENGTH OF TREATMENT– Treatment time varies with people’s schedule and with different teeth, but most people notice a difference within one week, and are satisfied with the change in two to five weeks.  The degree of whitening is directly related with the amount of time the trays are worn.


LONGEVITY OF RESULT–The results can be expected to be stable for a few years.  Keep your trays, and if you need a touch-up in the future we can provide fresh solution for an additional fee.  The touchup treatment time will take a fraction of the time of the original treatment.


FRONT TOOTH RESTORATIONS– Whitening will not change the color of crowns or fillings.  If you have a crown that used to match, but is too light now, whitening will help return your teeth to that shade.  If your fillings or crowns match now, your teeth will lighten, and the dental work may need to be replaced in order to match with your new smile.


PROCEDURE– The first visit is to take impressions of your teeth in order to make the custom trays.  Within a week or so, the trays will be delivered, fit confirmed, and the solution and instructions delivered with case and cleaning brush, and consent forms signed.  A photograph and a beginning shade may be documented.  A check appointment will be made a week later, followed by an appointment every one to two weeks until you are happy with the results. 


COMPARISON TO OTHER PRODUCTS– None of the over-the-counter products are recommended.  Some are ineffective; some can lead to serious complications.  None of them are approved by the American Dental Association.  Some of the differences are that we fabricate a custom-made tray that fits your teeth precisely.  The tray ends at the edge of each tooth to limit the amount of solution that can cause irritation by touching your gum tissue.  We monitor your progress regularly by visits to the office and catch potential problems before they get serious, we provide treatment options for sensitivity if necessary, and have different whitening solutions for different situations.

Back to top