(217) 875-4505 - Dr. Ron Cole

(217) 877-1743 - Dr. Mary Cole

It's hard to imagine anything more appealing than a sparkling, white smile. Yet our teeth rarely stay as white as we'd like them to without a little help. Fortunately, that help is available at the dental office.

Teeth Whitening Before and After.Teeth whitening done in a professional dental setting is a safe, effective way to brighten your smile. It's also perhaps the most economical cosmetic dental procedure. Depending on the whitening method you choose, results can be dramatic: in-office whitening, for example, can lighten teeth three to eight shades in a single hour.

Professionally supervised whitening will work faster, and protect sensitive gums and tooth-root surfaces better, than over-the-counter whitening products. Having an oral exam before you begin any whitening process is an important first step to make sure your tooth discoloration is not the result of a dental condition in need of treatment. Also, please be aware that it can be risky to have whitening solutions applied to your teeth by untrained personnel in shopping malls. If you have any questions about which whitening method would be best for you, talk to us first.


Professional Whitening Methods

Professional whitening makes use of high-concentration bleaching gels that are not available over the counter.

  • Teeth Whitening Options.In-Office Whitening — This technique offers the fastest results with the most powerful whitening solutions available. First, your gums and tooth-root surfaces will be covered with a protective barrier to ensure your safety. A thin plastic device known as a retractor will hold your lips and cheeks away from your teeth as a professional-strength hydrogen peroxide gel is applied. The gel will be left on for about an hour. When it is removed, the results will be obvious immediately.
  • Take-Home Whitening — This is another effective way to whiten your teeth, though you will play a greater role in ensuring the best possible results and several weeks may be needed to achieve your desired level of whiteness. First, a mold of your teeth will be taken and then two thin, flexible plastic mouth trays will be custom-made for you — one for the top teeth and one for the bottom. You will fill the trays with whitening gel and then position the trays over your teeth. The trays are left in usually for about an hour at a time.

Caring for Your Whitened Smile

There are lots of things you can do to make sure your whitening results last as long as possible, and this will vary from person to person (six months to two years or even longer). First of all, please maintain your usual, conscientious routine of brushing and flossing every day, and keep up with your regular schedule of professional cleanings at the dental office. Avoid foods and beverages that stain, including red wine, tea and coffee. If you smoke, use your newly whitened teeth as an impetus to quit — a good idea in any event! A minor touch-up every so often, either at home or at the dental office, can keep your smile bright and beautiful for years.

Extreme Bleaching


Are you ready for a whiter, brighter, youthful smile? Have you ever wondered how the movie stars get their glowing white smiles and wished that you could have their teeth? Do you hide your smile with your hand or hate to smile in pictures? It is possible to get the “wow” whitening results that you have always wanted. Dentists have combined and researched several different bleaching techniques to develop a unique bleaching technique that is called extreme bleaching.

Who can bleach? How does it work? Is it safe? Anyone older than 12 can bleach. Even patients in their nineties have bleached their teeth. Tetracycline-stained teeth have been bleached successfully. The whitening of extreme bleaching works by opening the pores of your teeth and allowing them to accept oxygen to dissolve the stains. Bleaching has been studied and safely used on millions of people without harm to teeth or gums. - See more at: file:///C:/Users/cr50.gearson/Downloads/extreme-bleaching.html#sthash.y1VBVnqn.dpuf

Stains on teeth can be caused by so many things. As people age, the protective outside layer of your teeth called enamel wears down and the natural yellow or brown underlying dentin shows through. Dark food and drinks such as coffee, tea, red wine, fruit juice, soda, and berries can stain your teeth. In other words, anything that can stain your carpet can stain your teeth. Minocycline and tetracycline if given at a young age can dramatically stain your teeth a bluish gray. Poor oral hygiene can also cause bacteria to build up and stain your teeth. No matter what caused the staining, most can be dramatically improved by extreme bleaching. Best of all, you do not have to give up your dark drinks forever. However, we do ask to limit your intake during the bleaching process.

Extreme bleaching is not a drive–thru experience and is not a one-hour procedure. Do you want something done fast or do you want long-lasting white teeth? Extreme bleaching will give you permanent whiter teeth every time with a little at home maintenance. An exam with X-rays and a cleaning is required. The bleaching works much better when a cleaning is done prior in order to remove dental plaque or tarter. You must be cavity free. Fillings may also be recommended on the gum line to reduce sensitive teeth before bleaching. Sometimes crowns or fillings may need to be replaced after bleaching because they will not change their shade. Elective procedures such as whitening are not recommended on pregnant women.

Deep bleaching is specific to you. Not everyone’s teeth are the same shade, so some may take longer than others to bleach. The dentist will work to get your teeth as white as you want them to be. After your exam and cleaning, “before” pictures are taken to get a shade. A mold is then taken to make a custom, comfortable tray for you. You are now ready to begin.

Part of the extreme bleaching process includes an in-office bleaching procedure called Zoom!, which was created by Dr. William Dorfman. Zoom! has been shown on the television show Extreme Makeover. Zoom! is a one-hour, in-office bleaching applied by a hygienist. Your lips and gums are covered and bleach is applied to your teeth every 15 minutes while you relax under a light. The Zoom! light activates the gel that is applied, allowing the hydrogen peroxide to penetrate your teeth better. The Zoom! procedure is combined with other bleaching techniques to give you the “wow” that you are looking for.

Related Articles

Teeth Whitening - Dear Doctor Magazine

Teeth Whitening – Brighter, lighter, whiter... The subconscious impact of a white smile is radiant health, happiness, warmth and invitation. This phenomenon has been reinforced with the spread of American culture worldwide, where an especially white smile has even been coined a “Hollywood smile.” Today brighter, lighter, whiter teeth have become a norm. Tooth whitening by bleaching is a successful, conservative, relatively inexpensive and safe alternative... Read Article

Teeth Whitening Answers - Dear Doctor Magazine

Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered! In this Dear Doctor magazine article, questions are answered about bleaching techniques and safety in achieving the best possible results. If you are thinking about getting your teeth whitened at your dentist's office or doing it yourself at home, this is a must-read... Read Article

Teeth Whitening Safety Tips - Dear Doctor Magazine

Tooth Whitening Safety Tips Tooth whitening is a relatively inexpensive way to enhance your smile, and many studies have confirmed that tooth whitening products are safe when used as directed. Still, there are some things you need to know before you begin the whitening process... Read Article

Contact Us

Cole Family Dentistry

(217) 875-4505 - Dr. Ron Cole
(217) 877-1743 - Dr. Mary Cole

2727 N Oakland Ave., Ste. 103 & 101 Decatur, IL 62526