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Newsletter – 4th Quarter 2002

Welcome to Life-Like’s Whitener Waiting Room Edition.The Whitener quarterly newsletter is usually directed to your dentist and dental staff and is filled with interesting and noteworthy articles focused on professional tooth whitening and related subjects. This quarter, it’s your turn.Your dentist has made this copy of the Whitener Waiting Room Edition available to you in the waiting room to share with you the state-of-the-art in professional tooth whitening. Read on and learn just how easy, fast, and safe it is to whiten your teeth professionally.

Your shower – it’s warm, it’s wet, and it’s the best place to whiten your teeth! The key to successful whitening is making it an easy routine. Your doctor does that by offering you the most practical and realistic way to achieve complete successful whitening.

Modify Existing Routines
It’s much easier to make a small addition to an existing routine than it is to create a new, yet temporary daily commitment. The beauty of the At-Home 30% Fast Whitening system is the short treatments of just 20-30 minutes each. It makes it easy to fit whitening into other daily routines such as showering or watching the evening news.

Window of Opportunity
Studies have found that there is a significant drop in patient compliance after 10 days of whitening. With many whiteners, your teeth won’t even be half the way to white in 10 days. However, Life-Like At-Home 30% Fast Whitening takes only 7 to 10 days and fits easily into that window of opportunity.

Everyone has “life-happen” – life’s little interruptions. When applied to a 7-day whitening routine, a missed day every 3 days would push it out to 9 days. When applied to a 28 day whitening routine, that pushes it out to 37 days – that’s well more than a month!

Instant Gratification
Seeing is believing and instant gratification is a great motivator. With At-Home 30% Fast Whitening, you and your friends, family, and co-workers will notice the difference. This quick change in your life will make it much easier to remember those treatments.

Whitening has come a long w ay in the last decade. Here are some guidelines and tips to help you receive the benefit of state-o f-the-art Whitening.

Why should you look to your dentist for tooth whitening – with all the over-the-counter and other whitening options now available? The case is compelling:

Fast & Effective
Your dentist offers you the highest concentration of whitening gel available for at-home use. Complete whitening is achieved in just 7 to 10 days with 2 short treatments a day of only 20-30 minutes each. Nothing whitens faster and more completely.

Safe & Supervised
Whitening is a significant dental procedure that warrants proper professional diagnosis, prescription, instruction, and supervision.

A custom whitening mouthpiece with the proper dose of whitening gel is comfortable and easy to wear without leaking gel onto your gums. Boil-and-bite trays and whitening strips let your saliva and the whitening gel mix and ooze throughout your mouth – not very comfortable and not very effective. Whitening gel can irritate the gums. Your dentist is a specialist in minimizing the di res.

Dental History
Your dentist will take into account your dental history and dental goals. If you have a history of sensitivity, exposed dentin, tooth cracks, TMJ, or other conditions, your dentist will take these factors into account for diagnosis and treatment.

Caps, Crowns, & Veneers
Caps, crowns, and veneers cannot be whitened. Therefore, they must be matched to the shade of your teeth after whitening. Whitening should be a part of a comprehensive dental strategy.

Having your dentist behind your whitening procedure will give you the confidence and faith to complete your treatments. When you are going it alone, something like “blotching” can be scary. With your dentist behind the process, you have someone to call and the knowledge that the procedure is being done correctly.

Value of Success
You can’t get the value of your whitening treatments if you don’t complete them – professional whitening treatments are short, easy, and completed in just 7 to 10 days.

Making it short, fast, and easy gives you the most realistic likelihood for whitening success.


Craig Downen, DDS
Montecito Dental Group, Montecito, CA

“Since going to At-Home 30% Fast Whitening, says Dr. Downen,
“occurrences of sensitivity have plummeted, and, best yet, patient compliance (follow through) has skyrocketed. My patients love the short wear time and the fact that that they can be done in just 7 to 10 days. I know my patients don’t have to pay for the failures that come with other whiteners. They get every penny’s w orth of whitening with 30%. I’m hot on the idea that I’m giving my patients their best chance to successfully whiten their teeth.”


Here’s a quick overview of what’s involved:

Diagnosis & Prescription
Your den tist will review your dental history, do an oral examination, and ask you a series of questions about your tooth whitening goals. A diagnosis and prescription will then be done.

Your dentist will take an impression of your upper and lower teeth. It is taken in a mouthpiece filled with putty, which your dentist will press onto your teeth. Taking the impression takes only a minute and is not at all uncomfortable.

Lab Work
Your impressions will be transformed into a stone impression of your arches. Custom mouthpieces called trays will then be made from the stone. The tray is made of a thin, clear rubbery substance. It is formed over your teeth and trimmed below the gum line to stay off your gums.

At the end of your dental office visit or on your next dental office visit , you are given the trays, a tray case, a tote bag, instructions, and a couple of applicators containing the carbamide peroxide gel. The hygienist/dental assistant will demonstrate how to properly fill the tray and avoid overfilling. Less is best.

Your whitening treatments will be twice a day for just 20-30 minutes each. So short that you can merge it with your daily bathroom routines. In 7 to 10 days, you’ll have a very happy and very white smile.

Whiten the upper arch first for 7 to 10 days. See the whitening occur via the contrast against the lower teeth. Then whiten the lower teeth for 7 to 10 days. Or . . . whiten both upper and lower teeth at once in only 7 to 10 days. It’s your choice! Your teeth will whiten the same either way.

How does it work?
The active ingredient is carbamide peroxide which is hydrogen peroxide bonded with urea and made into a clear gel that is designed to stay on the teeth and be quickly absorbed. The carbamide peroxide converts to oxygen and flushes the stains from the teeth. A majority of the active ingredient is expended within the first hour. However, the stent is removed after 30 minutes to allow the teeth to naturally rehydrate and avoid possible sensitivity. High concentration 30% Fast Whitening allows the maximum whitening to be done while the tray is in the mouth and then is removed quickly to avoid sensitivity. Tens of thousands of patients have been whitened with 30%. The FDA allows only dentists to dispense this high-concentration gel.


The fact that you’re reading this means your dentist cares enough about your time to offer Life-Like At-Home 30% Fast Whitening. It is a demonstration of respect for your time . . . because nothing is faster and nothing requires less time and effort on your part (usually in your bathroom routine).

Wearing a whitening tray is easy and not uncomfortable. However, it’s not something one aspires to lounge away the hours doing. Having to wear a tray for hours day after day isn’t fun. The longer you have to wear it, the easier it is to skip it and stray into whitening failure, wasted time and money!

Your dentist uses Life-Like At-Home 30% Fast Whitening. The treatments are only 20-30 minutes each, twice a day for just 7 to 10 days. The short treatments mean that you can do it while in the shower or during other daily routines. Nothing is shorter; nothing is easier.

Other whitening products can take upward to a month to complete. Some dentists still offer lesser products, just from habit.

Whitening time has evolved over its short history. It started out slow. Whitening using carbamide peroxide was first discovered back in the ’80s. Treatments using 10% carbamide peroxide in a tray (mouthpiece) were used to treat gum disease when it was noted that it whitened teeth. Gradually, Life-Like introduced dentistry to higher concentrations to hasten the treatment times – first 15%, then 20%, and within the last few years 30% Fast Whitening.

The higher the concentration, the shorter the treatments and the lower the total number of days to whiten. Your dentist knows this and has made the decision to respect your time. Ask your dentist today about Fast Whitening . . . because time matters.

Avoiding Tooth Whitening Sensitivity
Emotional sensitivity can be a very sweet thing. Dental sensitivity is nothing but a pain. Here are some facts and tips to help you keep whitening on your sweet side of your personality.

Your Dentist Chooses Well
Chances are, you are not going to have sensitivity when whitening your teeth. Your doctor uses Life-Like 30% At-Home Fast Whitening with the least amount of wear time, the fastest result, and lowest rate of sensitivity.

Low Occurrence
30% was tested on 1,400 patients, resulting in a mere 5% rate of pulpal sensitivity. That is astonishing considering that the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) reports that around 50% of the people who use a home whitening treatment experience temporary tooth sensitivity. Life-Like fast whitening patients have less than 5% pulpal sensitivity.

Avoid Dehydration
The low sensitivity of 30% Fast Whitening is due to the short wear time that avoids the dehydrating effects of the treatment. Keeping those treatments under 30 minutes and then letting the teeth naturally rehydrate with your own natural saliva is the key.

Sensitivity Toothpaste
If you have a history of tooth sensitivity you may want to go the extra step and use a sensitivity toothpaste before and during your tooth whitening treatments. You should begin using the sensitivity toothpaste two weeks before you start, and continue during the duration the whitening process. The reason for this – is that it takes that long for the potassium nitrate in the toothpaste to do its job. Some tooth whitening products put the potassium nitrate in the whitening gel – which sounds like a good idea, but it doesn’t work that fast – or that way. The combination ofplanning ahead (using sensitivity toothpaste) and short wear time is your best bet.

Avoiding “Learning Tax”
That “learning tax” is the cost of a false start . . . when you first try something with which you’re not familiar. With all of the new consumer options available that claim to whiten teeth (at what appears to be such a low cost), it is easy to pay “learning tax” for tooth whitening. Here are some of the ver-the-counter products that might fit into this category:

Whitening Toothpaste – Some whitening toothpastes may provide some whitening maintenance, but you can’t count on them to provide “additional” whitening.

Drug Store Whitening Kits – Using a “boil-and-bite, one-size-fits-all” whitening tray, these packages use lower concentration whitening materials that don’t want to stay in the tray. It can take a very long time to whiten, promotes swallowing of the whitening gel, and tends to be a slobbery, messy turn-off. The scratchy throat isn’t worth it.

Internet Whiteners – “Same as offered by your dentist” . . . they claim. Thing is, they skip your dentist – who is the most important ingredient. These lower-concentration products are less effective and do not account for your dental history, dental goals, or practical realities like matching other dental work. Too many patients have whitened themselves into dental work they didn’t intend to create. Most are turned off by the messy, one-size-fits-all trays.

Strips – These flexible whitening strips do not require a custom stent. That’s the up side. The down side is that they use a lower concentration of active ingredient, can be difficult to handle, and can take an inordinate amount of time to achieve complete whitening. Not many people can stick with it when they take more than a month to whiten.

Whitening Centers – There is only so much whitening that can be done in an hour. Most of these centers use the combination of super-high-concentration hydrogen peroxide and a light source – a combination that can increase sensitivity, and is an actual risk for pulpal damage.

The way to avoid “learning tax” is to get the inside scoop – and when it comes to teeth, that means advice from your dentist. Your dentist is going to tell you about Life-Like At-Home 30% Fast Whitening and how it offers your best opportunity for whitening success – fastest with the least amount of sensitivity, wear time, and treatment days. Ask your dentist how in just 7 to 10 days, you can maximize your whitening investment.

What You Can Do to Prevent Gum Disease

Are you to be counted in the 80% of U.S. adults who have some degree of untreated gum disease? There are serious conditions that have been tied to periodontal disease including heart disease, stroke, diabetes mellitus, premature births, respiratory ailments, and hip replacement infections.

Gum disease is not to be taken lightly. If you’ve had periodontitis, gingivitis, or halitosis (bad breath), there is cause for concern. Ask your dentist about the new tools you can take home to take your regular oral hygiene to the next level:

PerioFormula, an 8% carbamide peroxide gel is applied using a custom-fit tray similar to that used for whitening. You wear the tray and gel for just 4 to 6 minutes a day. Carbamide peroxide has been shown to:

  • Reverse gingivitis and incipient periodontitis
  • Retard moderate to severe periodontitis
  • Remove unhealthy tissue, clean and soothe minor wounds and inflammations
  • Be substantially more effective than mouthwash
  • Significantly reduce halitosis – kills bad breath
  • Promote periodontal health without antibiotics
  • Keep teeth white

It doesn’t make sense to allow your oral health to lapse each day when there is such a simple, practical, and effective way for busy people to remove food from between their teeth after every meal. Life-Like Tripick Toothpicks feature:

  • Unique triangular shape designed to remove food and plaquefrom between the teeth
  • Smooth plastic tapering that glides between teeth without splintering
  • Supple yet strong plastic construction with reusable strength

Tongue Cleaner
Approximately 60% of all bad breath comes from bacteria on the tongue. The Life-Like Tongue Cleaner:

  • Acts like a squeegee to remove the coating of plaque and bacteria on the tongue
  • Is more effective at reducing halitosis (bad breath) than brushing
  • Unlike a toothbrush, it avoids causing the gagging reflex Reduces plaque formation on the teeth

Fast Whitening Tips
Here are some tips to help you get the most from your whitening procedure:

Less is Best – It is important to not overfill the custom mouthpiece. Only the smallest dot of material should go into each tooth indentation – you should use less than one hash mark on the syringe total per arch per treatment.

Keep Off the Gums – If you taste gel, there may have been too much gel in the mouthpiece and you may need to wipe the excess away. Thirty percent (30%) is the highest concentration for home use. If it gets on the gums, it will cause blanching. Extended exposure can result in the equivalent of a pizza burn – it heals very quickly, but is an unnecessary and undesirable irritation.

Keep it Short – Don’t give in to the temptation to extend your treatments past 30 minutes. Most of the active ingredient has been expended and further wear may promote sensitivity.

Blotching – It is fairly common for patients to see blotching – visibly uneven calcification of the teeth. It isn’t cause for concern. It will even out as the treatments are completed.

Smile – Show off your smile and see how many compliments you receive.

Old school method of at-home whitening is history
Have you read how the practice of using leaches for medical purposes is returning to legitimate use? Overnight whitening is similar with the exception of its poor prospect for a return to usefulness.

The overnight whitening was introduced in 1989. The idea was to load-up a custom-fit mouthpiece with low concentration carbamide peroxide whitening gel and wear it all night. It would whiten teeth, but it took a long time, had a high rate of pulpal sensitivity, and would sometimes give people a scratchy throat from swallowing the gel in their sleep.

Then dentistry learned much more about the science of whitening. In 1997, a well respected independent research laboratory (Clinical Research Associates) released a study that showed the majority of active ingredient in the whitening material was blown-off in the first hour. Other sources summarized that the high occurrence of sensitivity was due to the dehydrating effect of the gel and treatments. In short, wearing a whitening tray all night long did very little whitening and a great deal of dehydrating.

Today, a different approach is used: high concentration whitening at-home using 30% carbamide peroxide and short wear time – just 20-30 minute treatments. This strategy does the most amount of whitening while the mouthpiece is in and then allows the teeth to be quickly rehydrated naturally. The result is a much lower incidence of pulpal sensitivity, fast complete whitening, and much happier patients.

“30% Fast Whitening made it so easy!”
“Life-Like At-Home 30% Fast Whitening made it so easy! I did a morning treatment during my bathroom routine and then one at night reading before bed. I loved how everyone was complimenting me right away. It was so much easier than what many of my friends went through; I can’t imagine whitening with anything else.”
Meagan Cron, Los Angeles, CA

Your dentist doesn’t want to make a mess in your purse or on your bathroom counter. Whitening gel other dentists offer is delivered in syringes that once assembled may continue to ooze – which is very messy. Your dentist wouldn’t let that happen. Unlike other whitening syringes, the Life-Like applicator:

  • Opens and closes the flow by simply twisting the cap
  • Requires no assembly
  • Has a built-in, fine-control tip that makes it easy to control the placement
  • Does not continue to ooze whitening material after first use
  • Is not a syringe that can take a needle
  • Is reusable for hobbies or as a handy water pistol

Skip those lamps

If you’ve had a friend try one of those whitening centers that use the lights, you’ve probably already heard that it can be painful and more expensive. The reason – the combination of lamps and super high oncentration hydrogen peroxide flirts with serious dental damage.

There were multiple studies back in 1986 that put a red flag on the use of 35% H2O2 and heat. As the nationally recognized clinician William Strupp, DDS, puts it, “The risk of pulpal damage just isn’t worth it.”

Despite claims of substantial shade changes, many of the whitening centers are now offering at-home kits to complete the whitening. It is a matter of economics. There is only so much whitening that can be done in a single visit; chair time is expensive, and someone has to pay for that – you.

With Life-Like At-Home 30% Fast Whitening, it is hard to justify the risk, cost, and fuss of whitening centers. When you can safely complete your whitening in just 7 to 10 days with two short 20-30 minute treatments a day, other options just don’t add up.

  • The Waiting Room Edition – This issue is for your patients and your business.
  • Do It In the Shower – Making Fast Whitening an easy routine
  • Why Professional Whitening – What everyone who whitens should know
  • Doctor Testimonial – Craig Downen, DDS on using 30% Fast Whitening
  • Anatomy of Fast Whitening – How does white ning work?
  • Time Matters – Your dentist respects your time
  • Are you the Sensitivity Type? – Avoiding tooth whitening sensitivity
  • Cheap doesn’t always mean less expensive – Don’t pay “Learning Tax”
  • Periodontal Prevention – What you can do to prevent gum disease
  • Fast Whitening Tips
  • Overnight is Over – Old school method of at-home whitening is history
  • Patient Testimonial – “30% Fast Whitening made it so easy!”
  • Special Delivery – Clean, easy whitening delivery
  • Consumer Alert – Skip those lamps
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