Robert asked: “For older patients, what time frame are we looking at for them to whiten?”
Sorry to say this, but “that depends…”. Does that remind you of dental school? LOL!
If and when I have a geriatric patient with very dark teeth, I select the KöR Ultra kit.
At that point, I really don’t know how quickly this patient will respond. They’re all different. It’s not even so much the dark color, but really how “plugged up” the tooth structure is (such as the plugging up of the enamel prism interprismatic, intraprismatic and intercrystalline spaces). The more plugged up, the slower the whitening process will be.
Maybe that patient consumes more staining foods and beverages, so the organic debris is very dark – thus very dark teeth. But maybe the patient consumes less staining foods and beverages, so the teeth, though very “plugged up”, may not be all THAT dark.
Both of these scenarios will typically take longer to whiten.
So what I recommend is to be prepared to whiten at home for up to 4 weeks, but see the patient at least at 2-week intervals to see how the patient is progressing. Personally, I like to err on the side of safety, and I usually have the tough cases whiten at home for 5-7 days longer than I truly think they might need. I don’t want to take any chances. Then, of course, do the in-office high concentration whitening visit.
I hope that I’ve answered your question Robert.
Very best regards,
Dr. Rod Kurthy