In-office tooth whitening is one option that can be used to brighten your smile, and is completed in one office visit. A protective gel is applied to your gums and a rubber shield is used to protect your lips from the solution. Bleach is then applied to the teeth. A special light is used to enhance the action of the whitening agent.
The take-home approach to tooth whitening and bleaching involves the doctor taking an impression of your teeth. Trays are made which are used to hold the tooth whitening gel. You may have to use the gel trays for two to four weeks, or more, if your teeth are significantly stained. You may need several visits to the office during this period.
Most types of tooth staining can be whitened by the use of tooth whitening gel. The effects of a tooth whitening product can last for two to three years depending on what you eat, drink and smoke over that period.