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Which Tooth Whitening System Works the Best?

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Why do we want to whiten our teeth?  The majority of my patients indicate that they want a whiter or brighter smile. What I have come to realize is that people tend to be happier when they are confident in the appearance of their smile because they want to smile all of the time! A gorgeous, bright smile leaves the impression that this person is confident, positive, clean and healthy.

What to look for in a tooth whitening system? Today, there are so many options to have a beautiful, white smile so it can become confusing to the public as to which whitening system would be the best. There are standard, over the counter systems such as Crest White Strips, 30 minute tray bleaching systems, laser or light activated one hour office systems such as ZOOM, permanent deep bleaching systems such as Kor and many, many others in between. Patients indicate that they are interested in what works best, lasts the longest, is the most pain free, competitive in cost and requires the least amount of their time.

Which tooth whitening system would I recommend?  Over the past twenty years I have tried various tooth whitening systems. I found myself very disappointed with the options available for my patients due to the high rate of sensitivity during the procedures and the less than stellar results that did not seem to last. I felt that in office tooth whitening was not a worthy investment…until the Kor deep bleaching system emerged.

Why is Kor Deep Bleaching better than the rest?  Kor whitening meets the majority of the objectives that patients are looking for in a tooth whitening system.  It works the best, lasts the longest, is the most pain free and is competitive in cost as compared to the other bleaching systems offered through dental offices. Bleaching your teeth can be compared to dieting. If you want to lose weight fast you may choose a crash diet and lose ten pounds in a week only to realize that most of the weight lost was water weight and the pounds reappear too quickly. One-hour whitening procedures like ZOOM are similar in the respect that within that hour the teeth are rapidly dehydrated under the light and heat with a highly concentrated bleaching agent sucking the moisture out of the teeth.  Of course the teeth will appear whiter (just as they would if you slept with your mouth open all night because of a severely stuffy nose) due to the dehydrated enamel. Once moisture is reintroduced, as our lips cover our teeth again, the teeth rehydrate and color re-emerges within a few days of the procedure.  Kor whitening systems require wearing trays while sleeping. The tooth whitening gel stays put on the tooth for hours at a time. Large molecules within the tooth create the appearance of color in the teeth. Hydrogen peroxide in the gel breaks these large molecules down into smaller molecules. And just like bleaching out a white shirt, it takes several treatments to break down all of the color molecules. Consistently wearing the trays each night will provide the best chance of eliminating all of the large molecules. Why don’t all tray bleaching systems provide these results? The answer to this question lies in how the Kor trays are fabricated and the type of hydrogen peroxide gel used inside of the trays. Kor trays are made with high quality materials within a dental laboratory in order to achieve precision fit with each tray. This fit seals the bleach inside of the tray rather than flowing out into the mouth or saliva mixing with the hydrogen peroxide gel. This is very important when we understand that our bodies produce hydrogen peroxide naturally so our saliva contains a substance called peroxidase to break down hydrogen peroxide. If saliva mixes with the gel, the gel will break down too quickly and not have time to work while sitting on the teeth. Kor also addresses the issue of sensitivity while bleaching whereas the other systems do not. It is true that most systems produce some sensitivity while undergoing the bleaching process but this is minimized with Kor for two reasons. The Kor system provides a varnish to be applied to the teeth prior to bleaching that will seal many open dentin tubules which cause sensitivity. In addition to the varnish, Kor formulated a water-based gel to be used in the trays. The water based gel minimizes the dehydrating effects of the hydrogen peroxide thus minimizing tooth sensitivity.  Kor whitening systems are considered permanent. They do recommend sleeping in the trays once a month to maintain the whitest shade possible, especially if you enjoy staining foods and beverages.

How much does Kor whitening cost?  Kor offers three different whitening systems depending on the type and severity of the staining. Prices range from $550 for tray bleaching alone to $1200 for Kor Ultra Max (trays plus two in office procedures) which is designed for patients with deep tetracycline type staining which sometimes involves bands of dark brown or gray colors in the teeth. People with this type of problem did not have an option for bleaching a few years ago!  Kor Max (trays plus one in office procedure) at $800 is the middle option which is designed for more stubborn, typical staining. Most of our patients require trays alone to achieve their desired results.

After using the Kor whitening system in my office for more than 3 years now I am excited to offer it to my patients as a great option to whiten their teeth! I have seen so many “life changing” results. I cannot say that I have ever been disappointed with a patients results with Kor when they used the product properly. Although many people still have some degree of sensitivity it is far less often or intense and they gain beautiful permanent results! I believe Kor whitening is worth the investment.

Before Kor Whitening

Before Kor Whitening

After Kor Whitening

After Kor Whitening