Description of the Procedure
In-office teeth whitening is a procedure designed to lighten the color of the teeth using a combination of a hydrogen peroxide gel and a specially designed visible/ ultraviolet lamp. The whitening treatment involves using the gel and lamp in conjunction with each other to produce maximum whitening results in the shortest possible time. During the procedure, the whitening gel will be applied to the teeth and will be exposed to the light from the whitening treatment lamp for 2, 20 minute sessions. During the entire treatment, a plastic retractor will be placed in the mouth to help keep it open and the soft tissues in the mouth (i.e, the lips, gums, cheeks and tongue) will be covered to ensure they are not exposed to either the gel or light. The patient will be provided a visible/ ultraviolet light filter for the eyes. After the treatment is completed, the retractor and all gel and tissue covering will be removed from the mouth. Before and after the treatment, the shade of the upper front teeth will be assessed and recorded.
I understand I may decide not to have the whitening treatment at all. However, should I decide to undergo the treatment, I understand there are alternative treatments for whitening my teeth for which my dentist can provide me additional information. These treatments include: Whitening toothpastes/Gels, other In office whitening treatments, Take-Home Whitening Kits, Porcelain Crowns, Veneers or Composites.
I understand that the cost of my whitening treatment is determined by my dentist. I understand that my dentist will inform me if there are any other costs associated with my treatment.
Risks of Consent for Treatment
I understand that:
Existing issues should be treated before undergoing a whitening procedure.
Results will vary or regress due to a variety of circumstances.
Whitening treatments are not intended to lighten artificial teeth, caps, crowns, veneers or porcelain, composite or other restorative materials, and that these types of restorations may need to be replaced at my expense to match my newly whitening teeth.
Darkly stained yellow or yellow-brown teeth frequently achieve better results than people with gray or bluish-gray teeth.
Teeth with multiple colorations, bands, splotches or spots due to tetracycline use or fluorosis do not whiten as well, may whiten unevenly, may require additional whitening, or may not whiten at all.
Previous orthodontic treatments may cause teeth to whiten unevenly if any resin from treatment was no properly removed from the teeth, either due to residual resin remaining on the teeth or over polishing upon removal.
Those with porcelain fused to metal crowns, amalgams, lingual bars or implants may feel excessive heat.
Teeth with many fillings or cavities may not lighten and are usually best treated with other non-whitening alternatives.
The whitening treatment lamp emits ultraviolet radiation (UVA) and all materials used in the isolation process, when properly used as directed, will block any exposures of soft tissues to this light.
It is recommended that those currently treated for a serious illness or disorder (e.g. immune compromised, AIDS, etc) should consult a medical doctor before use.
Whitening treatments are not recommended for pregnant or lactating women.
I understand that the results of my Whitening Treatment cannot be guaranteed.
I understand that in-office whitening treatments are considered generally safe by most dental professionals. I understand that although my dentist has been trained in the proper use of the whitening treatment system, the treatment is not without risk.
I understand that some of the potential complications of this treatment include, but are not limited to:
Tooth Sensitivity/Pain – During the first 24 hours after whitening treatment, some patients can experience some tooth sensitivity or pain. This is normal and is usually mild, but it can be worse in susceptible individuals. Normally, tooth sensitivity or pain following a whitening treatment subsides within 24 hours, but in rare cases can persist for longer periods of time in susceptible individuals. People with existing sensitivity, recession, exposed dentin, exposed root surfaces, untreated caries, recently cracked teeth, abfractions, oral tissue injury, open cavities, leaking fillings, or other dental conditions that cause sensitivity or allow penetration of the gel into the tooth may find that those conditions increase orprolong tooth sensitivity or pain after whitening treatment.
Gum/Lip/Cheek Inflammation/Burn – Improper isolation during the whitening procedure may cause or result in (i) inflammation of your gums, lips or cheek margins due to exposure of a small area of those tissues to the whitening gel or the ultraviolet light, (ii) the burning of gingiva, swollen lips due to UV light coming in contact with soft tissue, or (iii) chemical burn due to whitening gel coming in contact with soft tissue. The inflammation or burn is usually temporary and will subside in a few days, but may persist longer and may result in significant pain or discomfort, depending on the degree to which the soft tissues were exposed to the gel or ultraviolet light.
Dry/Chapped Lips – Whitening treatments involve two, 20-minute sessions during which the mouth is kept open continuously for the entire treatment by a plastic retractor. This could result in dryness or chapping of the lips or cheek margins, which can be treated by application of lip balm, petroleum jelly or Vitamin E oil.
Cavities or Leaking Fillings – Most dental whitening is indicated for the outside of the teeth, except for patients who have already undergone a root canal procedure. If any open cavities or fillings that are leaking and allowing gel to penetrate the tooth are present, significant pain could result. I understand that if my teeth have these conditions, I should have my cavities filled or my fillings redone before undergoing the whitening treatments.
Cervical Abrasion/Erosion – These are conditions which affect the roots of the teeth when the gums recede and they are characterized by grooves, notches and/or depressions, that appear darker than the rest of the teeth, where the teeth meet the gums. These areas appear darker because they lack the enamel that covers the rest of the teeth. Even if these areas are not currently sensitive, they can allow the whitening gel to penetrate the teeth, causing sensitivity. I understand that if cervical abrasion/erosion exists on my teeth, these areas will be covered with dental dam prior to my whitening treatments.
Relapse – After the whitening treatment it is natural for the teeth that underwent the whitening treatment to regress somewhat in their shading after treatment. This is natural and should be very gradual, but it can be accelerated by exposing the teeth to various staining agents. Treatment usually involves wearing a take-home tray or repeating the whitening treatment I understand that the results of the whitening treatment are not intended to be permanent and secondary, repeat or take-home treatments may be needed for me to maintain the tooth shade I desire for my teeth. The safety, efficacy, potential complications and risks of whitening treatment can be explained to me by my dentist and I understand that more information on this will be provided to me upon my request. Since it is impossible to state every complication that may occur as a result of whitening treatment, the list of complications in this form is incomplete. The basic procedures of whitening treatment and the advantages and disadvantages, risks and known possible complications of alternative treatments have been explained to me by my dentist and my dentist has answered all my questions to my satisfaction.