Teeth Whitening FAQ
Teeth whitening is one of the most commonly sought after treatments available. Our teeth whitening systems are designed to enhance the brightness of a smile with convenience and ease. You should make an informed decision before you invest your money. The following information is designed to answer the most frequently asked questions.
How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?
According to the Oral Health Foundation, the effects of whitening are thought to last up to three years. With good oral hygiene and limited exposure to foods and drinks that cause stains, you should be able to get the most out of your whitening treatment. The effects are less likely to last if you smoke or frequently drink coffee, tea, or wine. In rare cases, some people’s teeth remain white for over ten years without the need for touch-ups.
What Can I Do to Prolong the Effects of Teeth Whitening?
In-office and at-home whitening kits are an excellent way to boost the brightness of your smile. While the whitening process is an on-going one, there are a few steps you can take to prolong the effects of each treatment.
Does Teeth Whitening Damage My Teeth?
Many studies have shown that low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredient in bleaching gel, are safe if used as directed and under the supervision of a dental professional. Particularly acidic solutions have been known to etch the enamel of teeth, especially with prolonged use. We will take the proper steps to protect your gum tissue from high concentration bleach gel during in-office whitening.
At-home whitening gels can usually be applied on a daily basis for a two week period. Once your treatment is over, you should schedule an appointment so we can monitor your progress. We may also take photographs at the beginning of treatment, so we have a baseline comparison for your results.
Is Continued Teeth Whitening Bad for My Teeth?
The whitening process is an ongoing one if you want to maintain your results. However, overdoing it can put your teeth at risk for other complications. To avoid these complications be sure to look out for three possible warning signs: tooth sensitivity inflames or bleeding gums and teeth that look blue or see-through along the edge. If you experience any of these symptoms, Lawrence Toomin, DDS & Mark Bieber, DDS recommends an immediate appointment. A professional examination and cleaning before a whitening can also reduce your chances of developing complications, and improve your results.
Does Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of bleaching. In most cases, the sensitivity issues will subside in the days following your whitening treatment. Sometimes, sensitivity may be the symptom of a larger problem. If this warning sign goes untreated, it could lead to possible nerve damage or the thinning of your tooth enamel.
What Should I Do If My Teeth Become Sensitive?
If your teeth do become sensitive during the whitening process, you may want to consider brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste containing potassium nitrate. If you already have sensitive teeth, use the toothpaste two weeks before your treatment to reduce sensitivity. Reducing the frequency and duration of your bleaching treatment is also a way of addressing sensitivity issues.
Will Teeth Whitening Work Even If My Teeth Are Very Stained?
Teeth whitening does remove most stains, depending on the cause. However, all teeth do not reach the same whiteness. Each tooth has its maximum whiteness, regardless of the bleaching solution or technique. It is important to note that bleaching is only effective on extrinsic stains, meaning stains that are on the outer layer of the tooth, the enamel. It is not effective on intrinsic stains, where the inner structure of the tooth darkens or yellows over time.
We also recommend some form of professional treatment over store-bought products. Toothpaste and whitening strips simple do not possess the same concentration of bleach as professional grade solutions. Tooth whitening is best for patients who have stains caused by foods, drinks, and aging. If your discoloration is the result of intrinsic stains, we may recommend other cosmetic procedures, such as composite bonding or porcelain veneers. These procedures can help hide any stains and tooth discolorations.
Before you proceed with treatment, be sure to consider your existing dental work. Tooth-colored composite and porcelain restorations cannot be brightened with bleach. They will remain the same color as your pre-treatment teeth.
Is Teeth Whitening Covered by Dental Insurance?
Unfortunately, most dental insurance companies do not provide coverage for teeth whitening treatment, because it is considered an elective, cosmetic procedure. The umbrella of dental coverage includes procedures strictly related to health and wellness, such as cleanings and X-rays, fluoride treatment, and dental restorations. Talk with your insurance company to learn more about your options.
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We can help you get better, safer, and whiter results! Call (818) 748-9998 to schedule your appointment today!
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