Dr. Lily Ling received her DMD from Tufts Dental School and completed an advanced education in general dentistry  (AEGD) residency at UConn Health Center.

Sherborn Family Dental P.C.
19 N. Main Street, Suite 1B
Sherborn, MA 01770
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Posts for: February, 2013

If you are considering whitening your teeth you have many options.  Dr. Lily Ling of Sherborn Family Dental is happy to meet with you to discuss how you can achieve your desired results.  This blog post covers whitening services provided in-office by your dentist.  We will discuss some custom and off-the-shelf take home options as well in later blog posts.

What is bleaching?

Bleaching is used to correct discoloration of the teeth by removing the brown and yellow staining.  People typically have their teeth whitened to improve their appearance.  When people have a brighter smile, they tend to smile more often and their confidence shines through.

What causes tooth discoloration?

Tooth discoloration can be caused by staining, aging, or chemical damage to teeth. Some of the common causes of teeth discoloration are medications, coffee, tea, soda or smoking.

How long does teeth whitening last?

Though not a permanent solution, teeth whitening is very effective with results that can last for years.  Depending on your personal habits, touch-up kits can be used every 6 to 12 months to enhance and maintain whitening results.

What in-office whitening services do you offer?

We provide an in-office bleaching treatment consisting of a 38% hydrogen peroxide gel applied in two to four 15-minute sessions conducted during a single visit.  The whitening product contains potassium nitrate to help minimize sensitivity associated with the bleaching process.

Compared to other bleaching systems, sensitivity is not a concern for most patients with the bleaching product that we use.  Most patients are able to go through three to four rounds of treatment in a single visit.  Most patients achieve changes of at least 2 real Vita shades whiter. We recommend a home-tray follow-up after any in-office whitening for optimal results.

What else do I need to consider?

Remember that bleaching is a cosmetic procedure and is not a substitute to dental treatment for any underlying dental health issues.  Also, crowns, fillings, dentures, cavities, and bridges will not whiten or change color with bleaching.  Bleaching can whiten your natural teeth but will not whiten fillings or ceramic restorations.  Also be aware that all teeth do not whiten the same amount so there will be some variation in whiteness as exists with your natural teeth.

For additional information or to schedule an appointment contact Sherborn Family Dental at (508) 545-1050.  Check back again for future blog posts covering take-home whitening products. 


If you are considering whitening your teeth you have many options.  Dr. Lily Ling of Sherborn Family Dental is happy to meet with you to discuss how you can achieve your desired results.  Below are some common questions and answers regarding whitening options.

FAQ 1: How do people get their teeth so white?

Answer:  Often, veneers or crowns are how people get their teeth so white.  Bleaching products also help to whiten the appearance of teeth. For most patients over-the-counter products such as tooth pastes and rinses will not produce the desired results because the ingredients used to whiten the teeth are not held in contact with the tooth long enough to cause a noticeable change.  Custom bleaching trays made by your dental office that isolate the teeth and bleaching solution will keep the chemical in contact with the tooth producing superior results.  In-office bleaching treatments also isolate the teeth and whitening solution for the necessary time to whiten the teeth.

FAQ 2: Will bleaching my teeth damage them?

Answer:  Products purchased from your dental office are tested and safe for use according to the manufacturer's specific directions.  Products that are not sold through dental offices do not undergo the same scrutiny and are not backed by the American Dental Association.  In most cases whitening procedures performed by dental offices contain fluoride in the solution which strengthens the tooth and protects them from post-op sensitivity.

FAQ 3: Will my dental insurance cover bleaching services?

Answer:  No, in most cases whitening your teeth is considered cosmetic and not a covered benefit under your dental insurance. Occasionally flexible spending accounts may be used to pay for whitening treatments but you will need to check the terms of your employer's flexible spending account.

FAQ 4: Will whitening products lighten my existing dental work such as fillings and crowns?

Answer:  No, unfortunately fillings and ceramic restorations will not really lighten with any bleaching method.  If you are unhappy with the shade of previous dental work the only way to improve the esthetics is to replace the work or to use a veneer.

FAQ 5: If I bleach my teeth how long will they maintain the lighter shade?

Answer:  Tooth-lightening results can be effected by your diet and your daily habits (i.e., smoking, drinking staining beverages, etc). Effects can last somewhat indefinitely depending on your diet and habits. Occasional whitening touch-up procedures may be necessary to maintain your desired level of whitening.

For additional information or to schedule an appointment contact Sherborn Family Dental at (508) 545-1050.  Please check our Sherborn Family Dental blog again as we will be writing additional blog posts on specific whitening services that we offer.




Questions or Comments?
We encourage you to contact us whenever you have an interest or concern about our services.

(508) 545-1050