1) A cheek retractor is inserted into the mouth, exposing all the "esthetic zone" teeth (teeth that are visible when you smile). A liquid rubber dam or hardening resin is painted onto the gum tissue to protect against any irritation caused by the bleaching gel.
2) A bleaching gel containing hydrogen peroxide is applied to the esthetic zone teeth and kept on for approximately 15 to 30 minutes.
3) An intense light that is focused on the teeth and is said to activate or enhance the bleaching process. Opinions vary as to whether this light improves the bleaching outcome. The bleaching gel is suctioned or washed off, and fresh gel is applied for one or more additional periods of 15 to 30 minutes.Between gel applications, the teeth are checked to see how well they have whitened, and whether more bleach needs to be applied.
3) After the final gel application, the cheek retractors are removed, the patient rinses and the immediate post-treatment shade change are measured. The teeth may whiten by as few as two to three shades or as many as eight (out of a total of 16). Part of the whitening effect is due to dehydration during the bleaching process, which makes the teeth look whiter than their true new color. That color will emerge after a couple of days.
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