Whitening or bleaching teeth can hurt for a variety of reasons.  Teeth should always be evaluated by the dentist for cavities, exposed root surfaces, or erosion.  An exam will include x-rays or radiographs to check for cavities in between teeth. Once cavities are filled and any erosion problems are addressed (acid-reflux, bulimia, lemon sucking) an evaluation for whitening can begin.  If a patient has sensitivity to hot or cold but no cavities toothpaste with potassium nitrate can help.  The dentist can also fabricate desensitizing trays for the patient to put the toothpaste in and wear for half an hour prior to whitening.  The procedure for whitening at our office uses a combination of in office treatments, at home treatments, and maintenance treatments. Some patients exhibit no sensitivity to whitening while others will be unusually sensitive. Less frequent whitening and less percentage of active ingredient can alleviate sensitivity.  Whitening does not effect the hardness or thickness of the enamel. It is important to understand that tooth-color fillings, porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns will not whiten like natural teeth, and may need to be replaced after whitening if the color discrepancy is noticeable. There are several different options available with the Kor Whitening Menu. Most patients take home a 16% carbamide peroxide with their tray and have an in office treatment with 34% Hypremide peroxide. A sensitive patient will take home a 16% carbamide peroxide with their trays and have a 13% Hypremide in office treatment.  At home nighttime at-home-only whitening system uses 16%extended-release carbamide peroxide.  An at-home whitening system for daytime uses 9% rapid, aggressive-release hydrogen peroxide for one hour per day. Kor Whitening System is very effective due to 15+ years of whitening gel research, development and clinical testing. Whitening gels are unstable chemicals – they are supposed to be. This is why, once place in the mouth, they are able to so quickly liberate the bleaching factors that whiten teeth. When not refrigerated, even at normal room temperatures, whitening gels immediately start to degrade after their manufacture.  All Kor whitening gels are refrigerated immediately after manufacture by the factory and shipped to dental practices in thermally insulated containers with cold packs. Dentists keep the whitening gels refrigerated and patients are instructed to keep the gel refrigerated. Kor desensitizer is a HEMA based desensitizer with sodium fluoride and benzalkonium chloride. As a HEMA based desensitizer this product uses benzalkonium chloride as an anti-microbial. Kor desensitizer also uses sodium fluoride for its recognized ability to enhance desensitizing, its anti-caries affects , and its proven effects on increasing microhardness of teeth during and after whitening. Kor Desensitizer’s method of action is based on it’s ability to bind with proteins within dentinal tubular fluid , instantly creating plugs within the dentinal tubule. The above physical properties make Kor Desensitizer an ideal desensitizer to use on the surface of teeth even at the gingival margin where desensitizer will contact the soft tissue, both in the dental practice and at-home application by the patient. Desensitizing trays cover 1mm of gingival tissue with straight margins. Bleaching trays have a reservoir for the bleaching gel on the facials of the teeth and forms a great seal at the gum line so no fluid from the mouth can dilute the gel. Teeth can be effectively whitened without causing pain. For any questions call Dr. Nadine Hutchins at 970-242-7373.