Most general dentists offer professional teeth whitening as a way to address mild to moderate stains on teeth. However, some patients are hesitant as they fear the bleaching agent used in professional teeth whitening is potentially harmful or the procedure may damage teeth, and understanding more about the safety and health risks of treatment can help you decide whether that treatment is right for you.
A review of professional teeth whitening and its risks
Negative side effects of professional teeth whitening are very rare and typically minor when they do occur. Most patients also are satisfied with the effectiveness of professional, in-office teeth whitening, and the results can last for a year or more with proper care at home. The following is an in-depth review of the process and safety of professional teeth whitening.
Professional teeth whitening explained
Professional teeth whitening refers to an in-office whitening procedure, although some dentists also offer take-home professional whitening kits. For in-office whitening, the process involves isolating the teeth from the gums and applying a whitening agent to teeth in order to remove stains and discoloration. It is primarily a cosmetic procedure, but it may also involve removing plaque and tartar from teeth, which can improve the oral health of the patient, as well.
What to expect during professional teeth whitening
Every patient may have a different experience as it pertains to in-office teeth whitening, depending on the preferred method of the general dentist and the patient. However, as mentioned, the process typically involves applying a whitening gel to the visible surface of teeth, which removes discoloration and lightens the color shade of the teeth. The process is essentially painless and only takes an hour (or two at most) to complete. The dentist may clean and polish the teeth as well during the treatment.
The risks of professional teeth whitening
Professional teeth whitening has little to no risks when performed correctly. In some instances, teeth may become more sensitive after teeth whitening, although the sensitivity rarely lasts long. Gum irritation may occur if they are not properly isolated from the surface of teeth during treatment. For patients with dental cavities, the dentist may recommend treating the cavities before professional teeth whitening as they may cause excess discomfort or oral health complications.
What to expect from professional teeth whitening in the long term
The results of professional teeth whitening can last for a year or more. However, it is not a substitute for good oral hygiene (brushing, flossing, dietary choices, etc.). To ensure quality results in the long term, patients should follow the aftercare instructions provided by the general dentist, reduce the consumption of foods and drinks that may cause teeth stains such as coffee, tea, and tomato-based dishes.
Schedule a dental whitening consultation today
Our dental team takes precautionary measures to ensure professional teeth whitening is safe and effective for our patients. If you would like to learn more about professional teeth whitening or want to arrange a time to come in for treatment, then contact us today to get the process started.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Teeth Whitening in Everett, MA.
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