The term “cosmetic” causes many people brush off the idea of visiting a cosmetic dentist to fix serious oral health problems. Oftentimes, this is the result of major misconceptions about possible treatments and the feeling that procedures are purely about fixing appearance. However, this form of dentistry usually goes far beyond aesthetic appeal. It can…
FAQs About Professional Teeth Bleaching
If you have unsuccessfully used countless over-the-counter teeth bleaching products, chances are good that you are ready for a more permanent solution. According to the American Dental Association, teeth bleaching is generally safe and can be effective on both extrinsic (at the level of the tooth enamel) and intrinsic (beneath the enamel) staining. Still, many patients have questions before they start.
FAQ: What do patients ask before professional teeth bleaching?
While a patient can always ask their dentist for more information before deciding to pursue teeth whitening, it is often helpful to see what questions and concerns other patients have. Here are some of the common questions asked by those considering professional teeth bleaching.
What makes professional whitening more effective than over-the-counter treatment?
As is the case with many over-the-counter health products, any teeth bleaching product that patients can buy at a drugstore is likely to be less concentrated than an in-office whitening gel. More concentrated whitening gels may be damaging to the teeth or gums when used improperly or too frequently, so most office-grade gels cannot be sold over-the-counter.
Most professional teeth whitening involves using gel-filled trays, so all teeth are whitened equally. Over-the-counter whitening strips are a popular alternative, but they generally only work on the teeth at the front of the mouth. This solution may be acceptable depending on an individual patient's needs. For those who want each tooth to be whiter, professional teeth bleaching is generally a better choice.
Are there any side effects of teeth bleaching?
The short answer here is yes — teeth bleaching in a dentist’s office is generally effective, but treatment is not without side effects. Because deeper layers of the teeth can be exposed during this process, teeth whitening may temporarily result in more sensitive teeth. For patients who suffer this side effect, dentists can often recommend products that help ease sensitivity after a whitening procedure.
If the bleaching solution comes into contact with the gums, patients may also temporarily have gum pain or discomfort. Gums that have been touched by a bleaching solution will often appear white immediately after the procedure, which can be concerning for some patients. However, both discomfort and discoloration usually disappear quickly on their own.
Will teeth become whiter after just one treatment?
In most cases, a patient will want more than one whitening treatment to achieve an optimal shade of white. Since professional teeth bleaching solutions are almost always more concentrated than over-the-counter solutions, patients are likely to notice a substantial difference after a single treatment. Of course, each patient is different, and a dentist will be able to recommend a teeth bleaching regimen to achieve an optimal shade of white.
While teeth bleaching may not be essential for oral health, it has helped countless patients feel more confident. For those who feel insecure about stained teeth and want a relatively easy and painless way to restore them to bright white, calling a local dentist is an excellent first step.
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