There are 5 things you need to know before having your teeth professionally whitened

Most dental patients around the world have a similar issue; they wish their teeth were whiter.

Generally speaking, having the glowing bright smile of Hollywood has gone out of fashion in recent years, with people looking to have a slightly duller version, which is still about 5 to 10 shades whiter than their natural teeth.

As a result, professional dental whitening has become more popular as people seek to improve the appearance of their smiles. Of course, it can be a great way to brighten teeth and boost your self-worth, however, there are some essential things to consider before undergoing this cosmetic dental procedure.

So, here are 5 things people need to be aware of before having their teeth professionally whitened.

Potential sensitivity

Teeth whitening MacLeod works by using a bleaching agent to remove stains and discolouration from the enamel of the teeth. However, this process can also cause sensitivity in some people, particularly those with pre-existing dental problems or thin enamel. Before having your teeth whitened, it’s important to discuss any concerns about sensitivity with your dentist. They may recommend a lower concentration of bleach or a different whitening method to minimise discomfort.

Temporary results

It should be noted that even when it comes to professional dental whitening, the lighter teeth that you are left with are not a permanent solution to discolouration. Depending on the individual’s diet, oral hygiene habits, and lifestyle, the results of professional whitening can last anywhere from around 3 months to a year. Additionally, teeth may gradually become stained again over time, so ongoing maintenance is often necessary to maintain a bright, white smile.

In some cases, this can be achieved with over-the-counter options, but if you want to maintain the same shade of enamel, then your dentist will likely give you a whitening gel to wear to bed at home, which will need to be placed in trays.

Potential side effects

While teeth whitening is generally gentle and well tolerated, there are some common side effects that you need to be aware of. In addition to sensitivity, some people may experience gum irritation or even chemical burns from the bleaching agent. These side effects are typically mild and temporary, but it’s important to discuss any concerns with your dentist before undergoing treatment.

Not suitable for all types of discolouration

Teeth whitening is most efficient at removing surface stains caused by food, drink, and tobacco use. However, it may not be as good at treating discolouration caused by certain medications, genetics, or trauma. In some cases, other cosmetic dental procedures such as veneers or bonding may be a better option, or even different types of whitening, such as abrasion based, wherein an abrasive paste is applied to the enamel and is gently smoothed to whiten the surface.

Professional vs at-home whitening

While there are many over-the-counter whitening products available, professional teeth whitening is generally considered to be more preferable. Dentists have access to more potent bleaching agents and can customise treatment to the individual’s needs. However, professional whitening is also more expensive than at-home options, so it’s crucial to weigh the benefits and drawbacks before making a decision.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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