The whitening treatment provided by dentists is known as chairside bleaching or in-office bleaching. In the first appointment, the dentist will make a mold of the patient’s teeth for aftercare at home. The second appointment, the patient will come in and be prepared to be here for an hour. The dentist will protect the patient’s gums and tissue by applying a protective gel or a rubber shield. The dentist then applies a whitening solution on the teeth.
The whitening solution contains hydrogen peroxide, which is a bleaching agent that could change the tooth color. The bleach is used to remove surface (extrinsic) and deeper (intrinsic) stains. Professionally applied whiteners, those solutions used by dentists, usually contain hydrogen peroxide. This bleaching agent comes in concentrations ranging from 15% to 35%. As of March of 2005, all solutions with the ADA Seal had a 35% concentration of hydrogen peroxide.
After the gel is applied, laser light is shined on the teeth to accelerate the whitening agent. The patient will then remain in the chair for one hour. Once the light turns off, the dentist will give patients their teeth mold and care instructions for the remainder of the whitening process at home.