Professional Teeth Whitening Procedure – Everything You Need to Know
Most people consider white and bright teeth a part of an attractive smile. But, naturally, teeth lose their brightness over time for different reasons. Teeth whitening procedure, commonly known as bleaching, is used to make teeth brighter and to bring back the desired color of the teeth.
This is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure that offers a fast solution for those who wants a bright smile. There are two methods to achieve your desired level of white teeth: professional bleaching and at-home bleaching.
Who is the Ideal Candidate for a Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening procedure is ideal for those who have healthy and unrestored teeth but are not satisfied with their color. And for those who want to solve some of the problems such as:
- Tooth yellowing due to age
- Age spot on teeth
- The color change caused by the consummation of coffee, cigarette, and food
- Tooth darkening as a side effect of medication use,
- Some other tooth color changes as brown and grey teeth
You must keep in mind that only someone with natural teeth can undergo a teeth whitening procedure. People with dental implants and veneers are not candidates for bleaching.
It is very important to talk to your dentist before deciding to whiten your teeth because in some cases teeth whitening treatment can not correct all discoloration.
Tooth discoloration comes naturally with age, however, a bad lifestyle habit can cause a change color of a tooth to yellow or gray. There are two main types of discoloration – extrinsic and intrinsic stains.
Extrinsic stains appear on the surface of the teeth as a result of drinking too much coffee, tea, and red wine, eating some specific food, or smoking.
Intrinsic stains, on the other hand, form inside the tooth could be a result of trauma, age, and medication. It is believed that intrinsic stains are harder to whiten unlike extrinsic stains on the teeth.
In some cases both, internal and external staining occurs, which can seem complicated to be whitened. The good news is that both of this staining can be solved with professional teeth whitening at your dental office. Defining the type of staining you have, defines the whitening method you need.
Teeth Whitening Treatment – How Does it Work?
Professional teeth whitening, also called office whitening, may require two or more visits to the dental office. The first visit is here for consultation with your chosen dentist, to find out the best whitening treatment for you and to discuss your expectation.
The procedure itself lasts between 60 and 90 minutes. The first step in professional teeth whitening is taking an impression of the current shade of your teeth. This is the starting point for deciding how whitened your teeth you want to be.
After this step, the polishing of teeth is done with a special material called pumice, which is used to remove any plaque on the surface. To protect your lips and tongue from bleaching gel, the dentist will place retractors in your mouth. Also, the whitening procedure requires dry teeth and the necessity of putting gauze and cotton rolls between lips and teeth.
After this, the dentist will apply a whitening solution to the front teeth. Most teeth whitening gels are based on hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as the bleaching agent. Hydrogen peroxide is considered the best agent for teeth whitening, besides carbamide peroxide which is also often used to bleach teeth. Hydrogen peroxide penetrates the tooth enamel and bleaches the surface part of the tooth. In most professional teeth whitening procedures light or laser is used to activate hydrogen peroxide gel.
In some cases, whitening gel can stay on your teeth for about one hour, or the process of applying whitening gel and lightening can be repeated until you get desired shade.
In the end, when you get the desired result your dentist will brush your teeth to remove leftovers of the bleaching agent. Sometimes, the doctor will schedule one more appointment to check the results of the treatment or for additional whitening treatment to get better results.
After the treatment is done, it is crucial to listen to advice from your dentist about what you need to avoid right after the treatment. Keep in mind that darker foods and smoking can affect the color of your teeth.
If you have some questions about teeth whitening schedule a consultation with our team.
Best Teeth Whitening Procedure
At our dental office in NYC, Madison Avenue Smiles, we use Opalescence® Tooth Whitening Systems to brighten teeth.
Opalescence® is a professional teeth whitener that offers professional results. To begin your Opalescence® treatment, we will create a digital impression of your teeth that will be used to make a customized mouth guard to hold the whitening gel against the teeth. Safe and effective, Opalescence has been the leader in whitening for over 25 years! Please speak with our team to determine whether office whitening is an appropriate treatment for you and ensure that you use the correct concentration of whitening formula to provide the best results with the least possible side effects.
Home Whitening as an Option
Home whitening came as a solution for some people thanks to a lot of product on the market that offers the same results as professional whitening. The most popular whitening products are whitening toothpaste, whitening mouthwash and strips, whitening pens, and at-home whitening gels. All of these products contain small amounts of peroxide that should help whiten teeth. Home whitening products require a long period of application for results. The practice shows that the whitening at home option causes bigger risks not just with results but also for teeth and gum. Frequently use of whiteners can also damage the tooth enamel or gums. Not all products with title whitening are bad, you can use whitening toothpaste for removing some staining and protecting tooth enamel. Before you decide to use some home whitening kit talk to your dentist about the product and the results that you can get with them.
Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening
One of the main and most obvious benefits of whitening teeth is getting a beautiful and more attractive smile. What is more important professional teeth whitening is a better and safer treatment because it is performed by a qualified dentist. Besides, in-office teeth whitening is faster and can give you whiter teeth for about 1 -2 hours. You will get better, whiter, and more long-lasting results in the dental office, and you can get up to 6 shades of whiter teeth compared with home whitening treatments. More important with professional whitening you will get customized treatment according to your needs and your dentist will first overview your dental health to be sure not to cause some dental problems with a whitening treatment. In the long term, professional whitening treatments cost less than the use of whitening products multi times. And of course, it is cheaper than dental veneers and lumineers or crowns.
If you are looking for a professional dentist team with serious experience be free to contact us.
How Long do Whitening Results Last?
The results of teeth whitening differ from person to person. They can last up to three years. For example, if you are a smoker, the whitening effect won’t last long.
If you want to extend the duration of whitened teeth, your dentist will recommend you avoid dark-colored food and drinks for some time, frequently brush your teeth, and use a take-home kit for whitening.
Potential Risks and Side Effects
Teeth whitening is considered a completely safe dental procedure, especially if you are taking this process in the dental office. One of the most common side effects is increased tooth sensitivity and gum sensitivity for some time after treatment. Keep in mind that this is temporary and usually disappears after a few days.
As potentially more serious side effects occur gum burns, sometimes gum whitening for a short period or gum irritation, and damage to tooth enamel. If you swallow whitening gel it can cause gastric problems and irritation. Most of these side effects consider being a part of the home whitening procedure rather than in-office treatment.
How Much Does Teeth Whitening Cost?
Teeth whitening costs may depend on many factors, such as the type of procedure, region, and the dental office location. Professional, in-office teeth whitening, usually costs between $300-$800 on average. Teeth whitening is not covered by insurance because it is considered a dental cosmetic treatment. To get a cost estimate, you should schedule a free consultation with your chosen dentist.
To Sum Up
As a simple and safe cosmetic dental procedure, whitening teeth comes as the best solution when you want to improve your smile. If you want to be sure of the results you should consider doing that professionally in the dental office by an experienced dentist. Getting a brighter smile can be very important for most people, but the most important is to put your dental health first.
With our experienced team from New York City, you can get both – the desired smile with white teeth and improved dental health. Please, be free to contact us by calling 212-593-2868 or scheduling the consultation online by filling out the contact form.
Anthony Ceccacci BSc (Hon) University of Toronto, DDS, NYU, OKU. Residency at Kings County Hospital. Former Associate Clinical Professor NYU. He is the owner of madisonavenuesmiles.com, a specialized, systemic full-service digital dental, surgical restorative/facial rejuvenation delivery private practice, optimizing patient treatment outcomes.