Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Smile improvements.(Health)

Byline: Jackie Jadrnak Journal Staff Writer

New procedure whitens teeth with light-activated bleaching gel

Joan Escapule had her heart set on a brighter smile. To get her wish, she spent an hour with gel-smeared teeth under a special blue light earlier this month. And after rinsing out her mouth and getting her first glimpse of her new smile in a hand mirror, her reaction was simple but direct. "Oh, wow! That's really neat!"

The 35-year-old Edgewood woman tried a procedure that is relatively new to Albuquerque. It costs $500 and involves a bleaching gel that is activated by light, giving quicker results than some other alternatives on the market, according to Albuquerque dentists Gary and Greg Sanchez.

"It's fun. That's what I like about it," Greg Sanchez said. Customers leave the office excited about their new look, said Lisa Snyder, the dental hygienist who performs the whitening procedure in the Sanchezes' dental office.

Basically, tooth-whitening works by bleaching, usually with a hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide solution. The most established technique involves a bleaching solution held in custom-made trays in a person's mouth about two hours a day for three weeks or so, said Greg Sanchez. …

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