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4 Facts About In Office Teeth Whitening
While there are a variety of approaches people utilize to address tooth discoloration, in-office teeth whitening offered by a dentist is one of the most common methods used to brighten a smile that has become yellow over time. Patients often have many questions about this process, including the effectiveness of the treatment and what to expect when going in for the appointment. Continue reading to learn more about having your teeth whitened in a dental office and discover how this procedure compares to other options.
Professional teeth whitening facts
When compared to whitening methods patients use at home, such as custom-fitted trays supplied by a dentist that are filled with a bleaching agent, in-office whitening sessions include a dentist in every step of the process. It is common for people to seek this treatment without understanding what the process entails or the results. For this reason, many people have unrealistic expectations about what professional bleaching can achieve. Here are four facts about in-office teeth whitening that all potential patients should know.
1. The dentist must determine candidacy
There are several different reasons a person might have stains on the teeth, including diet, genetics, smoking, certain medications and mouth trauma. While bleaching is often effective for yellowing caused by certain foods and drinks, this treatment may not provide the desired results for all types of stains. Before an in-office whitening session, the dentist will first examine the teeth and determine how well the discoloration may respond to the bleaching agent. Additionally, people with previous dental restorations in the mouth, such as fillings or crowns, may not be good candidates.
2. Treatment often requires only a single office visit
At-home bleaching trays and other similar products often take several days or weeks before the effects are noticeable. However, in-office teeth whitening treatments take place over a single appointment that is typically only an hour or two long. Some people may need repeat sessions to address particularly stubborn stains.
3. Gum or tooth sensitivity is normal
Whether bleaching at home or in a dental office, many people experience some sensitivity or irritation during the whitening process. This often occurs when the peroxide penetrates the enamel reaching the tooth’s nerve. This sensation often subsides with time, but some people may need to stop treatment if the discomfort is too much to tolerate.
4. The results are temporary
Unless a person has a full set of veneers or crowns, it is inevitable for teeth to accumulate stains over time. While every person responds to teeth whitening treatments differently, the results of in-office sessions typically last a year or two. To prolong the effects of bleaching, people can minimize discoloration by limiting the consumption of acidic foods and dark-colored drinks and brushing after every meal.
In-office teeth whitening can be a quick, effective way to remove unsightly yellow spots from the teeth, but this treatment may not work for everyone. Setting up a consultation with a dentist or asking about whitening options during a routine appointment is an important first step to achieving the smile you’ve always wanted.
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