A patient case study by Ali MacEachern, Registered Dental Hygienist and Whitening Specialist
Nothing turns back the hands of time like a youthful, white smile. Teeth whitening is a non-invasive, simple process that can give you a quick boost of confidence. I have been professionally whitening teeth since 2016 using a variety of systems, and I am an in-office whitening patient myself.
It is the highlight of my day to see the amazing transformation in a patient’s appearance after completing whitening treatment!
Here comes the (father of the) bride
The patient in this case study wanted to whiten his teeth before his daughter’s upcoming wedding. He decided to whiten months in advance of the actual date — a great strategy to cross items off the list well before the big day.
To begin, we assessed the color of his teeth prior to treatment. We noted specifically the difference between the gumline and the biting edge on one of the teeth, and the variations in color elsewhere.
As I explain to patients, a lot of what makes teeth look yellow is actually the variations in color within a tooth. When we even out the color throughout a tooth, the whole smile looks more congruous and therefore brighter.
We recommended the KoR whitening process for this patient, as it is designed to be a slower, more impactful process. When a patient needs more than just a straightforward boost in color, KoR works best. Over the years of being KoR Whitening Premier Provider, I have learned so much from the process and trust the results.
The KoR whitening process
KoR combines a two week overnight at-home tray system, followed by a chairside appointment. We start with a simple scan on our iTero machine (no more goopy impressions!) and send the scan to the KoR labs.
When the patient’s personalized trays are received back in the office, we bring the patient in for an appointment, where we review the process, answer questions and provide the materials needed for the at-home whitening. While we ensure that whitening patients understand the procedure to the fullest before leaving the office, I and my whitening team are always available to answer questions along the way.
For the next 14 days, the patient wears the trays to sleep at night. Slow changes in color begin to emerge during this period. After the last night, the patient returns to the office for the professional chairside appointment. While some results are evident during the home portion of the treatment, this is where the magic happens! The chairside appointment really brings out the brilliant final results.
Individual patient results and questions
There are two questions that I am asked frequently about teeth whitening. First, does whitening make your teeth sensitive? And second, how long does the whitening last? There is not a one-size-fits-all answer for either question.
Sensitivity is a common side effect of any whitening system, but KoR reduces the risk with their specific manufacturing technique for the whitening gel and the desensitizer liquid which is part of the Kor system. If sensitivity is a concern for the patient, we discuss strategies to address the issue prior to beginning treatment.
Final whitening results vary from person to person, but KoR is designed to give each person their natural-looking best! The duration (how long the brilliance lasts) is based on nature and the patient’s lifestyle. Following the initial treatment, patients maintain their results at home over the long term, utilizing the trays and refill gel on an interval that works for them personally. The patient serves as their own guide on how often to boost. Those who are faithful in the maintenance portion are able to maintain their results far into the future without the need for another chairside visit.
White dress for her, white teeth for Dad (case study results)
This particular patient strictly followed the KoR method per our instructions and guidance. Patients that do so are always pleasantly surprised on how well their teeth respond.
In these patient images, note the tooth indicated by the blue circle, and how it changed from the (before) whiter area at the gumline, to (after) blending in and looking much more congruous with the rest of the tooth following treatment. On the tooth indicated with the arrow, note how the white spot in the “before” image blends in so much more as well. As the overall tooth shade evens out, it adds to the brilliance.
Final whitening words from Ali
I absolutely love this part of my job. I am passionate about understanding the science behind why whitening works the way it does, and I have found that if I can teach the patient how it all happens, then they carry the knowledge with them through the process.
To me, it is absolutely imperative that the patient knows they have support for their questions and concerns before, during and after this process. When I watch the patient as they take their first look in the mirror following their final whitening appointment, I can see the confidence that emerges with their dazzling smile.
Interested in teeth whitening?