A Dentist Visit for Tooth Whitening?
If you want your teeth whitened, you might be wondering whether you need to go to the dentist to have it done. There are a lot of good reasons. First of all, it can be a good idea to go to the dentist for tooth whitening. First of all, if your tooth whitening has dentist supervision, you will have his (or her) expertise monitoring the experience. He (or she) can do an oral examination of your mouth and take into consideration your complete medical history.
This is helpful because it is best to know how your teeth became discolored and if bleaching is the right treatment for you. The dentist will consider your type of stains and the extent of the damage, and the number and locations of restorations you've had done. All of these factor into determining the best way to whiten your teeth.
Dental Tooth Whitening: The Facts
When a dentist is supervising your bleaching treatment, the dentist will probably want to see you a few times to be sure you are following the directions given, to be sure the custom tray fits properly, and inspect your mouth and gums for irritation from the mouthpiece or chemicals, and to check on how the dentist teeth whitening process is coming along. If you aren't working with a dentist, you are totally on your own in figuring all these things out.
If you work with a dentist for tooth whitening, the dentist has access to stronger bleaching agents. The over-the-counter products have a lower strength bleaching agent - usually from 10% carbamide peroxide (which is about 3% hydrogen peroxide) up to 22% carbamide peroxide. The dentist can use hydrogen peroxide in concentrations from 15% to 43%. Obviously, the stronger product will have more of an impact on your teeth.
The dentist tooth whitening will be sure that the mouthpiece tray is made perfectly to fit your teeth. It is important that the mouthpiece fits well so there is maximum contact between the gel and the teeth, since the gel is put into the mouthpiece. If the mouthpiece doesn't fit well, it allows the bleaching agent to seep into the soft surrounding tissue and gums, and it can be very irritating.
In his office, the dentist performing tooth whitening will also apply a protective gel or a rubber shield around the teeth so that your gums and oral cavity are protected from the effects of the bleaching. The downside of going to a dentist for tooth whitening is the cost. Over-the-counter bleaching systems can be inexpensive, ranging from $10 to $150.
By contrast, depending on where you live, a dentist-supervised procedure is much more expensive, hundreds for even just an upper or a lower set of teeth. Obviously, it would be even more expensive to do the whole mouth. As you plan to have your tooth whitening, your dentist is your best ally. Work with your dentist for tooth whitening you will be happy with for a long time to come.