At our Houston practice, we proudly offer at-home and in-office tooth whitening treatment. Teeth whitening has become one of the most popular elective dental procedures, thanks to its effectiveness and minimal side effects. Although whitening does pose some risk of tooth sensitivity, Dr. Charles E. Southerland, D.D.S., offers gentle, personalized treatment that reduces your risks even further. To learn more about the low risks of teeth whitening or to schedule your appointment, call our office today.

Teeth Whitening Options

Dr. Southerland uses the revolutionary Zoom!® Whitening system. During office treatment, he will apply peroxide-based gel to your teeth. After he activates it with a specially designed light, oxygen molecules will penetrate your dental enamel, breaking up the bonds that hold stains together. After three 15-minute applications, your smile will be noticeably whiter.

At-home whitening treatment uses similar gel to in-office procedures, but it has a lower concentration of peroxide. Dr. Southerland will provide you with custom-made trays that fit around your teeth. You will wear the trays overnight or for about an hour during the day, depending on your preferences and schedule. After just three days, you should begin to see noticeable results.

Dental Sensitivity Following Teeth Whitening

Both types of teeth whitening carry very few side effects.The primary risks for both are tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. If you experience any sensitivity during your treatment, you should let Dr. Southerland know immediately. He may end your session early to avoid damaging your dental nerves. However, sensitivity during treatment is rare. Most patients who do experience minor discomfort find that it occurs after treatment, primarily in response to changes in temperature. If your teeth become dehydrated during treatment or if the whitening agent penetrates to your dental root, you may experience additional discomfort. You should alert Dr. Southerland about any sensitivity or twinges, but in most cases they will dissipate on their own in a few days.

Minimizing Your Risks

If you already suffer from some dental sensitivity, there are several things you can do to reduce your discomfort after treatment:

  • Choose an experienced dentist. When you receive treatment from a practitioner like Dr. Southerland, who has years of experience and a reputation for excellence, you are much less likely to experience adverse side effects.
  • Begin using anti-sensitivity toothpaste before your treatment. There are several types available, and Dr. Southerland can help you choose the right one for your needs.
  • Choose in-office treatment. During your procedure, Dr. Southerland will carefully isolate your teeth and prevent the whitening gel from touching your delicate gum tissue. Although at-home treatment is safe and effective, if you already have dental sensitivity, a dentist-supervised procedure may be a better option.
  • Ask Dr. Southerland about fluoride treatments. After your in-office procedure, he may be able to provide a fluoride varnish, which can reduce your teeth’s sensitivity to heat.

Schedule Your Safe, Low-Risk Whitening Treatment

With so few risks involved in whitening treatment, there is no reason you should not enjoy the whiter smile you’ve always wanted. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation.