Teeth Whitening Matthews NC - McKee Dental Associates
Now Accepting New Patients!
Versión en español

Teeth Whitening

There are tons of whitening products on the market, both online or at big-box stores. There are ‘paints’ and ‘pens’ all the way to very expensive ‘light’ or ‘laser’ teeth whitening systems. Many of these make promises that are unrealistic and even misleading. Plus, the majority of website advertised materials are not tested for concentration or stability. They arrive from China and are drop-shipped from warehouses all over the country. There is no way to track how these materials got here from overseas and what conditions they had to survive. Whitening materials degrade under heat and moisture after just a few hours. Imagine what happens when they sit in a container ship under the beating sun for weeks?

The materials we use are made in the USA by a medical grade facility. They are shipped directly to our office for storage. They are randomly tested by the factory for quality and are tracked with proper batch and lot numbers. With everything going on, you have to trust what’s going in your mouth.

We are excited to offer several professional teeth whitening options that we can confidently recommend which provide consistent, remarkable results with little to no teeth sensitivity.


opalescence go

Opalescence Go® prefilled disposable whitening trays allow you to whiten anytime! The trays are made of a special material that comfortably adapts to your smile. Opalescence Go whitening trays are an affordable, more effective alternative to over-the-counter whiteners.



opalescence pf

Opalescence® PF whitening gel offers professional whitening power in the comfort of your own home. Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth and create whitening trays tailored to your smile. Opalescence PF whitening gel comes in a variety of concentrations for different wear times and built-in desensitizing.



opalescence boost

Opalescence® Boost® power whitening gel contains 40% hydrogen peroxide and offers brighter, whiter teeth after about an hour in the dental chair. Opalescence Boost whitening gel is chemically activated, so it starts working as soon as it is placed on your teeth and doesn’t require a hot, uncomfortable light to work. Administered and performed by a dental professional, Opalescence Boost gel is the ideal choice for in-office teeth whitening.


Science Behind Teeth Whitening

All methods of teeth whitening are very similar. A gel containing a form of peroxide breaks down to oxygen and water. The free oxygen generated attaches to stains and lifts them out of the teeth. The differences between techniques and overall results depend upon the aspects below.

  • The concentration and stability of the Bleaching Gel; The main ingredient in whitening gel is peroxide which is inherently unstable to both temperature and light. One of the fastest ways to inactivate the gel is with heat. Did you know that the average temperature a package is exposed to while in transit with major shipping companies is 120 degrees? It’s no wonder that many over the counter products as well as professional gels may have inconsistent results. Our gel is manufactured to rigid standards and sent directly from the manufacturer packed in insulated cold packs. They are transferred immediately to cold storage in the office and remain there until they are packaged for you.
  • The amount of time that the gel is in contact with the teeth; Our whitening trays are handcrafted and feature a gingival seal and gel reservoirs. This means that more gel stays in contact with your teeth for a longer amount of time. In addition, your saliva is kept out thereby preventing dilution of the gel.
  • Whether the teeth enamel allows the gel into the stains; This is called permeability. The pressure of the gel against the teeth is increased because the trays seal so well against the teeth. Some manufacturers of over-the-counter products lower the pH of their gel (making it acidic) allowing the acidity to increase permeability. Our gel, on the other hand, is pH buffered. We enhance permeability by pretreating your teeth and using a neutral gel because we feel that it is safer.

Studies and Scientific Literature

If you’re a super-geek, you may be interested in looking at some of the current research. If so, pull up your suspenders and give these a gander. Once you’re done taping up your glasses, you may want to get on PubMed and do additional searches. If you find anything of interest, please let us know.

pdficon Clinical Evaluation of a combined Whitening Approach Using both in-office and take-home whitening in a combined approach provides predictable and enhanced results over the techniques by themselves. This is the basis of Deep Whitening and the core of our Brilliant White technique.
pdficon Light Augments Teeth Whitening with Peroxide So what about those lights? This is one of the only studies that show any effectiveness of the whitening light. Unfortunately, it was financed by one of the companies which manufacture the light and has been somewhat controversial. To our knowledge, the results of this study have not been independently duplicated.
pdficon Clinical Evaluation of a Novel Lamp and Gel This is another manufacturer study showing efficacy of their light system. We have not seen independent evidence to back this up.
pdficon Vital Bleaching – What do lights add? This study concluded that the lights used in three systems were not responsible for the whitening effect, rather the gel catalyst increased the speed and effectiveness.
pdficon Bleaching Efficacy Using Different Light Sources Internal bleaching was performed with several different lights and without a light source. The results showed no difference between them.
pdficon Comparison of Three Different Light Systems This paper studied three different systems and combined the techniques both with and without a light. In the end, there was no statistical difference between the light and no-light results.
pdficon Whitening Literature Review Acceleration by heat, light or laser may have an adverse effect on teeth and there is no final judgement of whether or not they work.
pdficon Safety Study of High Hydrogen Peroxide Concentrations This paper concludes that even very high concentrations of whitening gel have no effect on teeth enamel. Moreover, any evidence of damage is likely attributed to non-buffered, acidic gels like you might find in some over-the-counter products.
pdficon The Whitening Debate; JADA This JADA editorial shows how much controversy there is over this very topic.There is a general consensus that manufacturer studies are inherently biased. They are the only studies to date that I know of which show significant efficacy of the light when used for whitening. Until there is a comprehensive and independent review which shows otherwise, it would seem prudent to use a multiple visit combined approach for predictable whitening results.