It is normal for teeth to yellow or become stained over time, but teeth whitening can return a smile to its original brightness. The American Association of Orthodontics reports that more than 30% of Americans are unhappy with their smile. Getting teeth whitened is a simple, easy process that can help anyone regain confidence in…
5 Questions to Ask Your Dentist About Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure. The appearance of a bright smile is a sign of good dental health. In-office whitening treatments are quick and effective. Understanding the process better can help you prepare for your appointment. If you want to know what to ask your dentist about your teeth whitening procedure, here are five questions and their possible answers.
1. How white should teeth be after the treatment?
The dentist often chooses the level of whitening for the patient. But the patient may sometimes express a preferred whiteness. Discussing this before the treatment is important. This allows the dentist and the patient to agree on the resulting whiteness.
A common misconception is that patients can get the whitest teeth possible. The dentist will explain that this does not look good in everyone. The teeth’s shade should match the patient’s complexion. Most dentists also match the white of the eyes to the right shade of white. Achieving a realistic and natural effect is the goal of teeth whitening.
The patient must also remember that teeth brightening treatments are not the same for everyone. Heavily stained teeth can whiten to a specific level. Lighter teeth from the beginning can have a brighter effect. Touch-up treatments are also necessary to maintain or enhance the level of white.
2. What are the risks of the treatment?
Many people are apprehensive about getting this treatment because they think it might hurt or affect the internal structures of the mouth. On the contrary, teeth whitening is not invasive at all. It does not involve surgery. The dentist can administer a local anesthetic first to prevent teeth sensitivity. An application of a protective gel on the soft tissues can protect them from the bleaching agents.
Incorrect application of store-bought whitening gels can result in uneven results and tissue burns. That is why it is better to have an in-clinic teeth whitening treatment. Sensitivity may occur a few days after the treatment. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage the discomfort.
3. What are the advantages of in-office whitening over store-bought whitening kits?
Store-bought dental whitening kits are popular because of their price and accessibility. Specific products even have the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance. Even so, many people tend to overuse these products. They could either trigger sensitivity or damage the teeth. Some find the strength of these whitening products too much for their teeth. Others find the products to be ineffective.
In-office teeth whitening treatments are predictable when it comes to effectiveness. An individual can have whiter teeth in under an hour. It often results in mild sensitivity. This type of treatment is good for those who are preparing for special occasions. Some people may take more time to achieve the whiteness that they want. It will be better to start a week before the event.
This treatment is temporary. The length of its effects depends on the type of whitening treatment the patient chooses. In-office dental whitening can last from six months up to two years. Avoiding the consumption of tobacco and teeth staining drinks or foods can make the results last longer.
4. What causes dental discoloration?
Discussing dental discoloration can help explain whether a whitening treatment is the right solution for the issue or not. In-office whitening can treat superficial dental staining from consuming tobacco and staining edible products. It is often more effective on yellow teeth than on black, grey, or brown teeth. The dentist must address the dental discoloration from an underlying dental problem first before dealing with the aesthetic issue.
5. Can a patient have teeth whitening with braces or dental restorations?
Dentists often suggest that patients complete the orthodontic treatment first before having teeth whitening. This is necessary to achieve even whitening results. It is possible to whiten teeth with brackets by working around the brackets. But the areas where the brackets used to stick may look darker than the rest of the patient’s teeth. A touch-up whitening treatment can help even out the whiteness.
Teeth whitening can only work on the enamel layer of teeth. It cannot whiten dental restorations such as fillings, crowns, bridges, and veneers. The treatment may lift some stains from the surfaces. The whitening treatment must happen first before getting dental restorations. It will make it easier to match the shade of the restorations to the whitened teeth.
Teeth whitening can transform your look and self-image
A brighter smile reflects how good your dental health is. Many people want to get this treatment because of its aesthetic advantages. Asking your dentist about it can give you a rundown of the steps and the facts. Working with your dentist can help you have a pleasant teeth whitening experience.
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