Dental teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because, who doesn’t want a brighter smile? So do you go out and buy a teeth whitening kit from the nearest drug store, or do you make an appointment with your dentist? At-home teeth whitening systems incorporate low-dose bleaching agents, and may be more convenient, but it isn’t the recommended method. In-office whitening systems take place under carefully monitored conditions, allowing the entire dental process to be a safe, controlled, and pain-free use of highly concentrated bleaching gel that produces immediate visible results. Keep in mind that while in-office teeth whitening procedures are recommended over the at-home systems, it will be a more costly route, and will take more time out of your busy schedule.
There are a few other things you should know prior to moving forward with a teeth whitening procedure. The type of stains that respond best to in-office treatments are stains caused by age, and those caused by consumption of certain foods and tobacco use. Common stains that are resistant to in-office whitening include inorganic stains, stains caused by trauma which have caused the dentin to darken, stains caused by tetracycline antibiotics ingested during tooth formation, and stains caused by overexposure to fluoride.
Prior to a whitening procedure, you would be given a prophylactic cleaning to clear away plaque and debris that have collected on the surface between the teeth. Then, a dental exam would be performed to check for potential problems such as severe tooth decay, cracks and gum disease. Finally, your teeth would be measured on a shade guide to provide a benchmark for assessing the whitening process.
Though many patients are considered good candidates for in-office teeth whitening, there are some exceptions. Patients who suffer from tooth and gum hypersensitivity, deep and intractable staining, and who have teeth that have become transparent with age, should avoid these whitening treatments.
An important thing to understand is that results of any teeth whitening system can be unpredictable. The success of the whitening depends on age, heredity and the type of stain present. Also, neither are permanent solutions. After whitening treatment is completed, teeth are still vulnerable to stains and will require regular maintenance and likely, continued treatments. We can provide our patients with best practices on how to help prevent future staining.
If you are interested in receiving a consultation for teeth whitening, call Serenity Dental today and schedule your appointment!