A stain elimination process that restores a tooth’s original colour in a very short time.
Check our before afters and happy smile reviews for PROFESSIONAL TEETH WHITENING
Want a brighter and more appealing smile? Then the best way to achieve it might be to make your teeth whiter.
Most of us desire charming, pearly white teeth. Sure enough, most people rely on drugstore variety teeth whitening products to remove natural yellowing or staining of teeth. Unfortunately, these products rarely work. Professional teeth whitening, on the other hand, is near guaranteed to make your teeth whiter in a safe manner.
Would professional teeth whitening suit your needs? Read below to learn more about the procedure, possible risks, and how to pay for it:
Our teeth are not perfectly white, despite white toothpaste commercials tell you. Some yellowing of teeth is natural. However, some people may experience severe yellowing. Your teeth can actually stain because of what you eat or drink, and also because of certain lifestyle choices.
In some cases, teeth can be naturally a dark yellow. Your genetics and age also play a role on how nice your teeth look.
Things that can cause your teeth to seriously discolor:
Bad dental hygiene (not regularly brushing your teeth)
Constantly drinking beverages like coffee, tea, and red wine that can stain your teeth. Some fruits like apples can stain your teeth as well.
Smoking tobacco stains your teeth. Marijuana may also stain your teeth.
Damage to teeth
Nerve damage in the roots
Good oral hygiene can prevent teeth discoloration. But if your teeth have already discolored, you can improve the looks by professional teeth whitening. It is a simple procedure performed by a dentist that bleaches the tops of your teeth to look whiter.
Professional teeth whitening doesn’t work for everyone. For example, if nerve damage to a tooth is causing it to discolor, a whitening procedure may not help. Also, if you whiten your teeth and continue to smoke, the positive effects will not last.
In a majority of cases, professional teeth whitening can help you gain that pearly white smile you’ve always wanted. You can get rid of uneven tooth colors that ruin your smile with this procedure as well.
When there are countless teeth whitening products you can buy at a convenience store, why pay a dentist to do it? The question is reasonable enough. The main reason is that professional teeth whitening, also known as chairside whitening, is significantly more effective.
The teeth whitening procedure is basically a bleaching procedure. The teeth whitening products at supermarkets contain hydrogen peroxide, a bleaching agent to strip staining off teeth. Hydrogen peroxide, as you may already know, is a highly corrosive acid. It can damage your enamel and gums if used in high concentrations.
As a result, over-the-counter teeth whitening products contain very weak concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. These products won’t damage your gums, but won’t remove yellowing of teeth much either.
Dentists are allowed to use higher concentrations of bleaching agents to make teeth appear a lot whiter. Dentists also use special guards to protect your gums during the procedure. However, modern chair-side tooth whitening procedures don’t involve liquid bleaching agents at all. Rather, dentists these days use a laser whitening process.
The laser whitening process involves using a type of laser to lift the stains from the teeth after using a whitening agent. This procedure is less invasive and works more effectively. Laser tooth whitening can’t be done at home. Only a dentist can perform it.
In summary, professional teeth whitening, compared to at-home whitening, is safer and more visibly effective. The procedure doesn’t take much long either. You can have your teeth whitened with a single visit to the dentist.
Here are the basic steps of the professional tooth whitening procedure done at a dentist’s:
When you visit your dentist, tell him or her that you want your teeth professionally whitened. Before undertaking the procedure, the dentist would examine your teeth and gums. If you have a condition like gum disease or perhaps cavities, the dentist will recommend putting off the procedure until the serious conditions are addressed.
Your dentist would also screen you for suitability. Laser teeth whitening is not recommended for pregnant women. The procedure is not typically performed on teenagers either. If you are under 18, your dentist may recommend waiting until you are a bit older to get the procedure.
You should also have enough teeth enamel exposed to undergo the whitening procedure. If you have an uneven gum line, your teeth may not whiten evenly, resulting in a weird smile. Also, if your gums have receded exposing roots of teeth, your dentist may not recommend bleaching. Roots of teeth don’t respond to bleaching so only parts of your teeth would be whitened.
Don’t panic if you don’t qualify for professional teeth whitening. There are other alternatives you can consider like dental veneers and lumineers. A veneer is a thin shell of porcelain that can be pasted onto your teeth to change its color and shape. Lumineers are like veneers, but much thinner. Lumineers are suitable if your teeth are particularly sensitive.
Before the laser whitening starts, your dentist would clean your teeth. Usually, a dental hygienist takes over this procedure. The hygienist would remove tartar and plague if any are left to prepare the enamel fully for the professional teeth whitening procedure.
The dental hygienist would also check to make sure all your cavities are filled. There shouldn’t be damage to the enamel that would allow the bleaching agent to enter the inside of your teeth. In which case, the whitening solution will damage sensitive tissues and nerves.
The professional tooth whitening procedure is not painful. You don’t need a local anesthetic, as you would when removing a tooth. However, in some patients, the laser whitening process can cause tooth sensitivity or perhaps some minor inflammation.
Therefore, some dentists prescribe a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) before the procedure begins. You must inform the dentist if you are on any other prescription or over-the-counter medication before taking the NSAID. Inform the dentist of any allergies or sensitivities as well.
Once all of the steps above are complete, you can begin the tooth whitening process. The process is quite quick. You will be instructed to lie down on a dental chair. The dentist would use an oral guard to keep your mouth open and your teeth exposed.
Before the process begins, the dentist would place a protective barrier over your gums. This would prevent the laser or the whitening agent touching the gums.
Afterwards, the dentist would apply a gel-like whitening solution onto the enamel on the front side of teeth. This is usually done using a syringe. The whitening agent would stay on the teeth.
Then, the dentist would use the laser. The laser light activates the whitening agent and may cause it to foam. The laser causes the whitening agent to release oxygen ions that remove stains on enamel. The laser may stay on up to 15 minutes for the chemical process to take effect.
The dentist would turn the laser off and then may allow the whitening agent to stay on your teeth for few minutes longer. The final stage involves removing the whitening agent. Dentists mostly use a tiny vacuuming device to quickly and efficiently remove the stained whitening agent without damaging teeth or gums.
You will then be instructed to rinse your mouth. When the dentist removes the gum guard, the procedure would be over.
Overall, the entire procedure typically takes between an hour or two. So it’s quick and you won’t have to wait long.
Your dentist would examine your teeth once last time before you leave. You may experience elevated tooth sensitivity following the whitening procedure. Mild to moderate sensitivity is normal. But some patients may report high levels of sensitivity. The dentist would prescribe medication if the sensitivity levels are high.
At this point, your gums should feel normal. If you feel any soreness or notice any whiteness in your gums, tell the dentist right away.
Complications from professional dental whitening are very rare. You will be ready to be on your way if everything goes right. The dentist will tell you how to eat and protect your teeth following the procedure. You can also schedule a follow-up appointment just in case, but it may not be necessary.
The professional teeth whitening procedure is known as a largely risk-free process. Temporary side effects, mainly sensitivity, are common, while long-lasting or permanent complications are rare. You should be aware of the following side effects of the procedure:
Most patients who undergo professional teeth whitening complain about increased sensitivity levels afterwards. That usually means your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold beverages or drinks. This effect, however, should disappear a few days following the procedure.
Some patients may experience very high levels of tooth sensitivity. For example, you may feel a slightly shock-like effect when drinking a hot or a cold beverage. This can be treated by medication and should disappear in a few days.
You are at-risk for high dental sensitivity following a tooth whitening procedure if you frequently whiten your teeth. Tell your dentist if you had recently used a bleaching agent on your teeth to make it appear whiter. If you already have sensitive teeth, the procedure can make it worse. Therefore, discuss this complication with the dentist if you are at risk for tooth sensitivity.
Gum irritation can occur if the whitening agent and the laser penetrates the gums. It shouldn’t happen if the gum guard is well placed. Some gum irritation issues will disappear on its own. In other cases, your dentist may prescribe a medication.
Though not common, gum inflammation, or swelling can occur as a result of the procedure. This is why dentists prescribe anti-inflammation medication before the start of the procedure.
In rare cases, the use of laser can result in nerve damage of teeth. You may feel it as tooth sensitiveness that never goes away. Certain high-heat lasers can increase the risk of nerve damage. This complication is rare, but you can discuss it with the dentist before undergoing the procedure.
The costs of professional teeth whitening largely depends on the area you live. The costs for the procedure are higher in areas where dental costs are generally high. In general, a professional tooth whitening procedure that lasts up to 3 hours could cost you somewhere between $450 and $,1,000.
Professional teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure. So your insurance or Medicaid plan is highly unlikely to cover the costs of the procedure. Patients usually have to bear this cost out of pocket.
If you live in an area where dental care costs are high on average, you can make the procedure more affordable by travelling to an area where dental costs are low. For example, if you live in a city, traveling to a clinic in the suburbs may reduce some costs. If dental costs are high no matter where you live in your country, you can consider traveling to a low-cost country for dental care.
For example, patients from countries where dental care in expensive, like Germany or the U.S., travel to countries like Turkey where the costs are far less. Turkey is an EU country, which means that even if the clinical costs are on the lower end, the quality of care is not.
You can consider an option like Turkish dental care to keep professional teeth whitening affordable. Traveling won’t be difficult because the procedure can be performed in a day and don’t require a follow-up visit.