Is professional teeth whitening a viable option?
According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American adults spend over $1.4 billion on teeth whitening products available over-the-counter or online. This figure represents the total amount spent in one year.
To further add to the prevalence of teeth whitening in the U.S., more than 38.29 million people in the United States used some form of DIY teeth whitener or had their teeth professionally whitened in 2019.
With so much emphasis on first impressions and smile being the first noticeable feature, people are concerned about the appearance of their teeth.
While professional teeth whitening is seemingly a very commonplace cosmetic dental procedure, you might not be a candidate (the eligibility criteria is not as strict as for a more intensive procedure – though it is still recommended that you consult with your dentist before starting any whitening treatments).
Professional Teeth Whitening
As the phrase implies, professional teeth whitening is a dental procedure that is carried out by a dental professional. Since this is a voluntary cosmetic procedure, people get it done regularly to address intrinsic and/or extrinsic stains.
- Extrinsic teeth stains are usually caused by the food and drinks that come in contact with your teeth. Wine, tobacco (in cigarettes), tea, coffee etc. are common items that leave a stain behind.
- Intrinsic teeth stains are those where the discoloration seeps beneath the enamel, creating more permanent stains. Intrinsic stains can also be caused by age-induced enamel thinning.
Typically, people with permanent teeth in generally good dental health are eligible for professional whitening. The gist is that if you haven’t had extensive dental work previously and have healthy gums, you are good to go.
The procedure is not recommended to those who have:
- Receding gums
- Mixed dentition – children that still have some of their deciduous or primary teeth
- Dental work such as crowns, implants, caps and other restorative work
- Gum bleeding issues
- Sensitivity to any of the agents used in professional teeth whitening procedures
Do keep in mind that even professional whitening doesn’t work for all kinds of stains. Brown and grayish stains are harder to remove with simple bleach. However, there are other solutions for that such as veneers.
For minor extrinsic discoloration, your dentist may suggest whitening toothpaste and a professional cleaning session. For more stubborn stains, professional teeth whitening along with regular brushing, flossing and maintaining good dental hygiene is the suggestion.
While it might seem easy to determine whether you’re a candidate or not for teeth whitening, having a dentist’s professional opinion is crucial. Dr. Abiodun Adesanya, DDS, PC is based in Maryland and provides professional teeth whitening along with various other professional dental procedures and treatments. He will conduct a thorough physical assessment of your oral cavity, making sure there is nothing of concern. He will give his recommendation based on your current health status and whether the procedure will be effective in addressing your concerns regarding your teeth and smile.
Schedule an appointment with him today to have his expert opinion on how you can maintain dental and oral health and aesthetics.