Consent for Teeth Whitening at Home

General Information

Teeth whitening lightens the colour of the teeth. When done correctly, it will not harm your teeth or gums. In most cases, you can achieve significant lightening, but results are not guaranteed.

Teeth whitening, like any other treatment, has some inherent risks and limitations. These are seldom serious enough to discourage you from whitening your teeth, but you should consider them when deciding to have the treatment.

Candidates for Teeth Whitening

Just about anyone is a candidate for teeth whitening, but you should note:

  • Whitening will not change the colour of fillings, crowns, dentures, veneers, or any other material (restorations) that is not enamel. If, after bleaching, a colour difference results between your teeth and other restorations, these restorations may have to be replaced to match your new enamel colour.
  • Do not attempt to bleach crowns, veneers, or any other restoration, as this will not work and may damage them. Bleaching is only intended for enamel.
  • Whitening is not recommended for patients that are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Whitening will probably be unsuccessful if tartar build-up exists in your mouth. A cleaning is recommended before the bleaching to remove these deposits.
  • If you suffer from periodontal disease (bone loss around your teeth), and the roots of your teeth are exposed, you’ll notice that these are darker than your enamel. Whitening will not change the colour of your roots, only of enamel. These areas may likely be more sensitive when exposed to whitening material.
  • If you have tetracycline staining your teeth, you may likely need power bleaching for better results.
  • We recommended having a thorough dental exam to evaluate areas of decay and/or periodontal disease and to treat these areas before the whitening. A previous treatment will maximize the results and avoid complications and further disease advancement.

Home Teeth Whitening

It consists of wearing a thin custom-made bleaching tray filled with a mild bleaching gel. You must wear the tray for 2 to 6 hours per day or night for one to two weeks. The advantage of home whitening is that you perform this treatment when it is convenient. The disadvantage to home whitening is that the success of the treatment is entirely based on your commitment to wearing the whitening tray for the period prescribed.

Potential Problems

Tooth Sensitivity: During whitening, some patients experience transient sensitivity. This sensitivity is usually mild if your teeth are generally not sensitive. It may be necessary to reduce the hours you wear the bleaching tray or stop using it for a short time to resolve the sensitivity.
If your teeth are generally sensitive, whitening may make your teeth more sensitive for an extended period. Under these circumstances, you may delay the whitening process until we can complete desensitizing procedures. A mild analgesic such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen will usually be effective in making you more comfortable until your teeth return to normal.

Gum Irritation: This results from using the trays for too many hours when you first start whitening. You may need to reduce the number of hours you wear the tray or stop using them for a short time to resolve these gum problems.

Effect on Fillings: Be aware that tooth-coloured fillings will not whiten, and mismatched shading may happen. The same applies to any other restoration in your mouth (e.g. crowns, veneers, dentures, inlays etc.) You may need to replace these restorations so that they will match your newly whitened teeth.

Completion of Treatment

Level of Lightening: There is no reliable way to predict how light your teeth will whiten. Type of staining, tooth anatomy and periodontal/carious condition vary from person to person, thus affecting bleaching results.

Relapse: After completing the whitening treatment, the pigment found in food and drinks will re-stain your teeth after some time. This re-stain is commonly called “bleaching relapse”. With home whitening, you may choose to wear your trays once every few months to avoid relapse from occurring.

I have read and understand the procedure. This information has been explained to me, I have had the opportunity to ask questions, and I am satisfied with the answers. I, hereby, consent to this treatment.

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