With the holidays around the corner, now is the time to give yourself the gift of teeth whitening! If you’ve tried whitening toothpaste or kits, you’ve probably noticed that the results are not as dramatic as promised or as you’d hoped. Or, even worse, you’re halfway through the tube of whitening gel and you realize that not only are your teeth the same color (more or less) that they were a month ago, but you’re experiencing relentless tooth and gum sensitivity.
Before we get into how exactly professionally teeth whitening works, it’s worth noting that the Academy of General Dentistry recommends dentist supervision for any tooth whitening, even over-the-counter preparations and pastes. While these treatments may be less expensive, they take longer, show limited results, and may cause side effects ranging from uncomfortable (tooth and tissue sensitivity) to serious (irreversible tooth damage). The American Dental Association notes that “Patients should be cautioned that not enough information is available to support unsupervised long-term and/or repeated use of bleaching products.”
While at-home whiteners are easy to use and relatively cheap, if you’re looking for safe and effective whitening with immediate results, then professional whitening is the way to go.
Professional whitening preparations and solutions are stronger than OTC kits and your dentist will carefully apply the solutions or will develop custom whitening trays to minimize irritation.
Unlike strip kits, which only whiten your front six teeth, professional whitening makes your whole smile brighter. Working with a cosmetic dentist will also ensure that your teeth achieve a healthy, natural-looking shine.
Most cosmetic dental professionals offer two popular teeth whitening options: the Philips Zoom system and customized home whitening kits.
How Philips Zoom In-Office Whitening Works
If you’re looking for immediate results, an in-office whitening treatment is the way to go.Your dentist will first perform a thorough assessment of your teeth to assess the health of your teeth and gums and to determine the possible causes of your tooth discoloration.
After the examination, your dentist will carefully protect the soft tissue in and around your teeth. Expect to wear protective eyewear throughout the entire procedure.
Once your gums have been protected, your dentist will apply a peroxide-based whitening varnish and sealer. Then, he or she will activate the Philips Zoom WhiteSpeed, which uses blue LED light-activated technology with variable intensity settings to quickly whiten teeth.
The entire procedure, from prep to reveal, lasts approximately two hours.
How Take-Home Teeth Whitening Kits Work
Take-home whitening kits are perfect for patients who are sensitive to light, find that whitening at home is more convenient than remaining in the office, or for those who prefer a slightly more gradual approach to whitening.
Working with your dentist, you’ll decide how many applications you’ll need to achieve the degree of whiteness you’d like and the smile you desire. Most patients find that a two to three-week treatment plan is optimal. As with in-office whitening, expect your dental professional to perform a thorough examination first. Take home whitening systems are available in different whitening strengths, and you can expect to wear the custom trays for either 15 minutes twice a day, or for 4 to 8 hours while you sleep.
A brighter smile can be yours. Now through December 2016, you can receive $150 off teeth whitening. Request an appointment today!