Is Getting Teeth Whitening At Your Dentist Worth it?

May 07 2019 by Mills Haven Dental

Teeth Whitening - Mills Haven Dental

Getting the beautiful smile you want can be as simple as having a professional teeth whitening treatment. Professional teeth whitening can remove stains caused by cigarette smoking, beverages, ageing, and chemical damage. But with several options including whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, and whitening gels now available over the counter, many patients are asking is getting teeth whitening at the dentist worth it?.

Who Is A Candidate For Teeth Whitening?

For most people, whitening can work well and the results will show a significant improvement. However, there are some situations where teeth whitening would not be suitable for patients. Children under the age of 16 and are not recommended to undergo bleaching due to the nerves in their teeth being enlarged at this age. Pregnant and lactating women are also not recommended to pursue teeth whitening.

Individuals who have dental restorations such as crowns or bridges, porcelain veneers, or cosmetic bonding may find that bleaching agents won't work on all their teeth.

Patients with sensitive teeth and gums, gum disease, or teeth with worn enamel should talk to their dentist before proceeding with teeth whitening.

Over-the-counter Solutions Vs. Professional Teeth Whitening

When comparing over-the-counter teeth whitening solutions and professional teeth whitening, consider the following factors.

Quality of Whitening

While over-the-counter whitening products are less expensive than professional whitening, these products are not nearly as powerful. Over-the-counter products use abrasives or low doses of bleaching agent that only treat surface stains. However, discoloured teeth have stains on the surface and beneath the surface that over-the-counter products do not necessarily address.

The bleach concentrate used for professional teeth whitening is generally stronger than the concentration in over-the-counter products because the dentist can watch how it is used.

Comfort Level

Professional teeth whitening is available in a variety of forms and different formulas depending on the sensitivity of your teeth. Your dentist will ensure your gums are protected, they will consider your comfort level, and they will choose a treatment suited to your unique needs.

In contrast, over-the-counter treatments are not administered by a professional and the risks of gum irritation or damage to previous dental work are increased. This is especially common when it comes to whitening strips where some people leave strips on longer than the recommended time or the bleaching solution runs on the gums due to the style of delivery system. This can lead to painful and irritated gums that may require treatment.

Lasting Results

Professional teeth whitening reaches below the surface of your teeth to brighten and whiten. The results of treatments can last for years in some individuals, depending on your dental hygiene care and daily habits (like eating, smoking, and drinking).

Over-the-counter treatments typically only treat surface stains with some products suggesting they should be used every six months.

Discuss Your Situation With A Dentist

If you are thinking about teeth whitening treatments, it is important to have a careful discussion with a dentist. As a Sherwood Park Dentist, our team can assess your situation and take you through your options. Contact us to arrange an appointment today.