If you want your teeth whitened, you will almost certainly get the best results with Professional Teeth Whitening. It may cost more than your other options, but you may find that it is worthwhile. For in-office treatments it may typically cost between $300 and $1000, depending on the method and product they use and also how many sessions you go for treatment. Dentist often use Take-home treatments as you may get better and longer lasting results with this slower method. This may cost you between $200 and $400. Professional Teeth Whitening are usually done using Carbamide Peroxide or Hydrogen Peroxide.
Your Professional Teeth Whitening provider
Take care when choosing the provider for your treatment. I suggest that you consider the following:
- Ask your dentist or even friends who were happy with their teeth whitening experience, to recommend a provider. This may be a cosmetic specialist.
- You can also research the practitioner, for instance, to see if he/she is certified by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry or if any comments were posted on the internet regarding this practitioner.
- It is very important to choose a dentist with whom you feel at ease. You need to see someone who is willing to take your personal needs into account. This include your expectations, specific dental problems and requirements as well as your budged. You should let the dentist know if you’re in a hurry to get your teeth whitened or if you will be happy with a slower take-home option.
- If you want a specific whitening method, it is worthwhile to research it and make sure you are satisfied with the pros and cons of this method. Your decision may also influence the provider you choose as professional teeth whitening providers often specialize in specific bleaching methods.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
If you want to know how to whiten teeth fast, In-office bleaching will be your best option. In an hour or less, you will have dramatically brighter teeth. Please keep in mind that your teeth may become a bit darker over the next week as some of the whiteness is due to dehydration of your teeth. As your teeth hydrate again they may appear a bit darker again.
How will the dentist whiten my teeth?
There are many bleaching systems on the market, so it isn’t possible to explain the exact process your dentist will follow, but I will attempt to give you a good idea what to expect.
An oral hygienist or your dentist will need to clean your teeth thoroughly and make sure that all the plaque, tatar, food or other dirt particles are removed, as it may interfere with the bleaching process and prevent optimal results.
Bleaching gel can irritate or even burn you gums and any soft tissue it comes in contact with. To prevent this, the dentist will usually place a protective barrier over your gums. Cotton wool rolls may also be use to keep the teeth dry and your lip away from the teeth.
The bleaching gel will be applied to the teeth you want to whiten and left for the prescribed time. Some treatments may involve your dentist using a specialized light to active the whitening agent. As the gel loses its effectiveness after a while, the dentist may remove it after about 15 minutes and apply new gel. This is typically done 3 times per visit.
Depending on the shade of your teeth and how much lighter you want your teeth to be, additional whitening visits may be required. Alternatively the In-office procedure can be combined with take-home whitening to get better and longer lasting results.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening
This is the treatment I personally prefer. As it is supervised by a dentist, it is safe and effective (provided you follow the guidelines). I like this method as the patients have some control as to how much they want to bleach their teeth. It is also less expensive than In-office treatment and the patient can keep the customized trays to use for future touch-up treatments. If tooth sensitivity becomes a problem because of the bleach, the patient can choose to slow down their bleaching regime e.g. only use it every second day. If the sensitivity is severe, it may be advisable to talk to your Dentist before proceding.
What is the process for take-home bleaching?
Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth, and send it to a Dental Laboratory. They will create custom fit whitening trays that should feel comfortable and fit securely over your teeth. Your dentist will need to see you again to ensure that the bleaching trays fit well, and to educate you on how you should proceed at home.
Whitening gel will be provided, either for overnight use or for use during the day (between 15 minutes and 1 hour). The concentration hydrogen peroxide in the gel for daytime use will be higher than the overnight gel.
Clean your teeth thoroughly first. The whitening gel should be placed into the bleaching tray, taking care not to use too much gel. Keep in mind that the trays fit securely around your teeth and too much gel will just squeeze out when you place the tray over your teeth. Once you placed the tray, the gel will spread out over the tooth surfaces and start to penetrate the enamel. Wipe excess gel with cotton wool as it will irritate the gingiva (gum) if it is left there. Do not eat or drink with the trays and bleaching gel in your mouth. When you remove the trays after the appropriate time, rinse your mouth and the trays thoroughly with room temperature water.
The daily whitening regime will usually last for two to three weeks. For very hard-to-treat staining like tetracycline staining, it may even take six weeks or even longer. If you suffer from tetracycline staining I will suggest that you choose the KoR Whitening Deep Bleaching system as any bleaching system may not be able to treat this type of staining effectively.
Take care not to use the bleach too often or too long as it can cause enamel erosion.
For further information about some of the most popular professional teeth whitening brands available, please see the articles about: