Is Professional Teeth Whitening for Me?

Professional Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening at Kitsap Dental Clinic can seem like an attractive option and appear to be an excellent solution for removing stubborn stains and treating yellowing teeth. However, there are important things to consider. When using a professional whitening treatment, the teeth are bleached in the dental office or at home. Not all patients are an ideal candidate for teeth whitening. Other methods may be better for patients who have gum issues, sensitive teeth and who have had previous dental work done. There are alternative options other than professional bleaching to effectively address teeth whitening.

Professional Whitening

Professional whitening is an effective solution for most adult patients who have good oral health. Patients who don’t suffer from tender gums or a receding gumline aren’t likely to be overly sensitive to the chemicals used in bleaching treatments. Professional teeth whitening is an effective way to treat stubborn, yellow stains on the teeth. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), teeth that have brownish or grayish stains don’t always respond well to bleaching well. Bleaching treatments also don’t work well for patients who have had previous work done on their front teeth, have tooth-colored fillings, crowns or caps. The material used for these treatments won’t respond to the bleaching chemicals. Your dentist can complete an examination to determine if you are a good candidate for bleaching. The dentist can also review alternative options for whitening.

Alternative Options

If you have health teeth and gums, your dentist will likely approve the use of professional whitening treatments. People who have gum disease may not be a candidate for the bleaching treatments. The chemicals used can cause gum irritation and increase any tooth sensitivity. Your dentist can also discuss your oral hygiene routine to determine if there are ways to improve the health of your gums. Thorough brushing and flossing daily in addition to regular dental checkups can help improve gum disease.

Professional teeth whitening is not a good option for people who have existing crowns, caps or other restorative work on their front teeth. Fortunately, there are many effective alternatives. Your dentist can work with you to improve the color and appearance of your teeth. Veneers or bonding can be used to help achieve your desired smile.

Professional bleaching may also not be the best option simply because of the high cost associated with the procedure. There are less invasive and less expensive methods for removing your stains. For teeth with minor discoloration, a professional cleaning and using a whitening toothpaste between dental visits can be an effective way to maintain white teeth and your confident smile. Your dentist may also suggest using over-the-counter whitening kits such as strips and peroxide gels. These products don’t work as quickly as professional treatments, however, they are more affordable and can help achieve the same results.

While not all stains can be treated with over-the-counter or professional bleaching. Your dentist can evaluate your teeth and help determine realistic expectations. Your dentist may discourage teeth whitening if your teeth are sensitive, you have gum disease or your teeth don’t have strong enamel.

While teeth whitening procedures are effective, they are not typically covered by dental insurance. Be sure to check your specific plan for the applicable coverage.

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