Glenn asked: “If you have recessions, do the trays stop at the enamel edge, and can the root surfaces be whitened with this system?”

Hi Glenn.

Great question!

The answer is yes, the roots can absolutely be whitened. However, as you will suspect, they can never be whitened to the full extent that the enamel can.

As far as stopping the trays at the edge of the enamel, I assume this question is referring to a concern that the exposed root surfaces may experience sensitivity during whitening.

I always recommend extending the trays to the gingival crevice, regardless of recession. Of course, your concern is regarding dentinal tubules that may be open and may be opened during the course of whitening. However, consider the following:

  • The KöR Complete® desensitizer instantly plugs open dentinal tubules, and actually “bonds” (chelates) to the highly mineralized peritubular dentin, which is almost as mineralized as enamel.
  • I always recommend an initial very thorough application of KöR Complete in the dental office, however, every at-home whitening kit comes with KoR Complete for the patient to re-apply every morning after removing the whitening trays. But the process is somewhat technique sensitive for the patient, so it is imperative that the patient carefully watch the video that shows them exactly how to apply the desensitizer properly.

As you well know, nothing’s perfect, and occasionally you will run across a patient with so much sensitivity of those exposed roots that the process above is not enough. With the KoR Whitening training, we have a module/chapter that discusses exactly what to do if you have what we call a rare “super sensitive patient”.

If push comes to shove (and this would be very rare), and you feel you need to make trays that do end at the edge of the enamel, that can be done at that time. But it is so rare that it just doesn’t make sense to expect failure and not whiten the roots of the vast majority that will tolerate it very well.

If you have any other questions about this or anything else, feel free to contact your KöR rep at (949) 713-0909 or toll-free at (866) 763-7753

Very best regards,


Dr. Rod Kurthy

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