Have you noticed that even with good oral hygiene like brushing and flossing daily, your smile isn’t as dazzling as it once was? You can prevent stains with proper hygiene, but things such as aging, medications, food and drinks can contribute to yellowing or causing other tooth discoloring. If you’ve considered whitening your teeth you may have been wondering if the cost of professional whitening is high.
But in-office whitening is one of the most effective and safest whitening methods out there. There are many forms of whitening products including OTC (over the counter) products that usually contain carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide as their primary bleaching material. But the professional composition separates it from the rest and therefore carries a higher cost compared to over the counter options.
As opposed to home whitening options containing lower formulations of their bleaching agents, professional whitening procedures are monitored and contain a higher concentration of bleaching gel. This also leads to temporary sensitivity for this reason in some patients and some patients report minor tissue irritation.
Nonetheless, with the concentration of the gel being stronger results are seen more rapidly. Within 2-3 weeks patients typically have a more noticeable change as opposed to OTC kits where they would notice a smaller change or would have to use the product for more days or weeks to get closer to the same result.
One of the obvious drawbacks to OTC whitening is that no dental examination is required before starting treatment. The ADA recommends everyone considering a whitening treatment to have an evaluation to determine if their teeth and gums are healthy enough for whitening. An exam can help to determine whether the discoloration or staining can be improved and to check previous restorations and see what color mismatches might be an issue.
Will my teeth be sensitive?
Sometimes teeth can be sensitive after whitening treatments. There are options to minimize the discomfort. Using a sensitive toothpaste before or after treatments can be helpful. Avoid whitening for a while and take a break from whitening for a day or several days. And now many professional whitening products contain potassium nitrate to help minimize sensitivity of the gels better than previous products.
Is professional whitening worth it?
Once you've been seen by the dentist and have been cleared for whitening, choosing a method to use is a matter of your budget and personal preference. If you're looking for fast results and a dramatic whitening effect, professional whitening is your best option. Go for it. Custom made trays can be made by taking impressions of your teeth and an easy to use kit can be ready for you in 1-3 days after.