Teeth whitening is becoming a very popular cosmetic procedure. While there are many over the counter options available at a much lower price, you may not get the same results as you would by having your teeth whitened by a dentist. The dentist has the ability to be able to use or prescribe a higher concentrate of whitening gel (hydrogen peroxide) than you can purchase over the counter. Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical agent used for teeth whitening in the whitening gel. This agent has the potential to cause adverse effects to teeth if there are cavities present or to the gums if the chemical is applied incorrectly.
To ensure the best and safest result for teeth whitening, it is advised you seek the help of a dentist. The initial process is to have a thorough examination completed to assess the health of your teeth and gums. A professional clean may be suggested to remove calculus and plaque. If there are any cavities present in your teeth these will need to be filled prior to whitening. This is important to ensure as the solution should not come into contact with the exposed dentine surface of your teeth or it will result in sensitivity. Depending on the location of the tooth, a temporary filling may be placed followed by a permanent filling after the whitening is completed for the best colour match.
Although you will be paying more for professional teeth whitening you will be receiving professional care. The dentist will not only provide a detailed discussion of the process before the start of treatment, they will also take precautions during whitening. With a take home whitening kit the dentist will create a customised set of trays to assist in the process. These trays will enable the whitening agent to sufficiently cover the teeth without touching the gums. While, with in chair whitening the dentist will be supervising the entire time and will be using barriers to protect the gums. In both situations, upkeep
and maintenance of whitening teeth will be explained.