We all want our teeth to be a bit whiter to improve our smiles. The most effective teeth whitening products apply high concentrations of Carbamide Peroxide or Hydrogen Peroxide to the teeth surfaces. The bleaching gel breaks down and releases Peroxide which penetrates deep into the tooth surfaces. Peroxide breaks down internal stains to brighten and whiten your smile. Dentists use high concentrations of Peroxide, higher than permitted by over-the-counter bleaching products. This yields the best possible whitening results in the shortest amount of time. Receiving a professional tooth whitening from your dentist may just be the way way to whiten your smile. But really, how does teeth whitening at the dentist work? Why is it more effective? And how much does it cost? Let's take a closer look at everything you need to know about teeth whitening at the dentist:
Why is teeth whitening at the dentist so effective?
If you want the whitest teeth, you should consider getting a teeth whitening at the dentist. Here are a few reasons why your dentist can give you the whitest teeth possible:
Stronger Bleaching Gel
Over-the-counter teeth whitening products use less than 16% Carbamide Peroxide or its equivalent in Hydrogen Peroxide. On the other hand, dentists are allowed to use Carbamide Peroxide concentrations as high as 40%. High concentrations of peroxide can damage your teeth and gums if used without proper supervision. The peroxide can cause extreme tooth sensitivity or gum inflammation. Luckily, these side effects are usually temporary. However, on occasions, the side effects are permanent. Due to these serious risks, over-the-counter whitening products are not allowed to use very high concentrations of peroxide. High concentrations of bleaching gel should only be used in a controlled environment by an experienced professional, such as your dentist.
Faster & Better Results
Using high concentrations of peroxide means you get faster and better results. Many professional teeth whitening systems also use a light source to enhance the bleaching process. The light, which is LED, halogen, or plasmaarc light, is used to break down the whitening gel into its active ingredients. These special lights speed up the gel activation process to give you even better end results.
Important note: If your whitening system uses a bleaching light, your dentist will give you protective goggles to wear during your whitening treatment.
Treatment in a Controlled Environment
There are other benefits to having your dentist supervise your whitening treatment. First, your dentist can help you determine if you're a good candidate for teeth whitening. Certain teeth colors don’t respond as well to whitening treatment. Your dentist can also examine your teeth to see if there are any fillings or crowns which may interfere with the process. Your dentist can also look for sensitive areas and cover them with a protective barrier before starting treatment. Finally, your dentist will monitor the bleaching process to make sure that you don't end up with pain and sensitivity afterward. If you do end up with tooth sensitivity, your dentist can offer solutions to reduce the sensitivity for a faster recovery.
What is a typical teeth whitening session at the dentist?
A professional tooth whitening session always starts with a thorough exam. Your dentist will make sure that there are no major obstacles to whitening your teeth. For example, if there are fillings on the front teeth, or if you have exposed tooth roots, these may need to be addressed prior to the bleaching procedure. Your dentist will also make sure that your teeth are clean enough for the whitening products to work properly. Teeth that are covered with plaque and tartar will not respond well to whitening. You may have to receive a dental cleaning before the whitening treatment.
Once it is determined that you're a good candidate, your dentist will start your whitening session. Most in-office teeth whitening treatments are completed during a single hour-long session. Your dentist and his or her dental team will start by isolating your teeth. This is done by placing a barrier material right where the teeth meet the gums. The whitening gel that your dentist uses is very strong. The barrier ensures that the bleaching gel does not contaminate and damage the gum tissue. Afterward, the bleaching gel is applied evenly to all teeth surfaces planned for whitening. This typically includes the visible surfaces of your front six to ten teeth. All you have to do now is sit back, relax, and let the whitening gel brighten your smile! Treatment usually takes anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour. You may get periodic breaks. The dentist or dental team will check up on you periodically to ensure that treatment is going well.
How much does professional teeth whitening cost?
Professional teeth whitening treatment is the most effective way to whiten your smile. Typically, teeth whitening at the dentist will set you back a few hundred dollars. Expect to pay a premium for the most effective whitening brands, such as Zoom!® and KöR®. Luckily, you won't have to look too far for a dentist who offers teeth whitening. Almost all general dentists offer some sort of teeth whitening services. You can also go online to see who is running a whitening special near you. Contact a dentist near you to learn more about your teeth whitening treatment options and your smile will thank you for it.