There are many benefits to getting in-office teeth whitening. Not only are your teeth safely whitened by an experienced dental professional, the end results are quicker to achieve, more convenient, more effective and longer-lasting than whitening products that you can purchase from chemists and supermarkets.
While over-the-counter whitening options, such as whitening toothpastes, mouthwashes, gel strips and trays, do work to varying degrees, you will be choosing affordability over quality when using these less expensive options. For optimum results, a proper dental consultation and in-office tooth whitening is hard combination to beat.
What’s good about consulting your dentist first is that they will assess your teeth to determine the best way to restore the brightness to your smile. In fact, only a dentist is qualified to check your teeth and recommend the whitening treatment that is most suitable for your needs. In some cases, a clean and scale may be all that is required.
Tooth whitening may not be suitable for everyone. For some, the procedure may cause more harm than good if your teeth and gums aren’t healthy. If your teeth are discoloured internally (as opposed to surface stains) due to medication or age, then no teeth whitening procedure may appropriate – although there are other dental option available.
Your dentist will check for and factor in pre-existing oral conditions including tooth sensitivity, tooth decay/cavities, enamel thickness, receding gums and other oral conditions. If you have crowns, fillings or any other dental restoration work, your dentist will customise your whitening treatment accordingly since these restorations don’t usually respond to whitening treatment.
From the moment you sit down in the dental chair to when you get up to leave, an in-house teeth whitening prep and treatment should take approximately 1 to2 hours max, depending on which whitening treatment option you choose, and how much bleaching your teeth require or can handle in a single session.
If you don’t opt for a halogen light to be used – to accelerate the bleaching process – you may be asked to return for a few visits in order to achieve the shade of white that you desire.
Over-the-counter tooth whitening products are well regulated in Australia, and shouldn’t pose a risk to your oral health. However, if you use them over an extended period or apply them incorrectly to your teeth, then you may be at risk of causing irreversible damage to both your teeth and gums. Some common side-effects of home whitening include: damage to your enamel and gums; increased tooth sensitivity; and inconsistent whitening.
Your dentist will clearly explain and expertly manage your in-house teeth whitening treatment to prevent any of these unwanted side effects, and ensure the best possible outcome given your current oral health situation.