Are You a Good Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
Professional, in-office teeth whitening has become one of the most popular treatments in all of dentistry for good reason. It is safe and highly effective, with minimal risk of side effects. Patients emerge from treatment with teeth that are multiple shades whiter after just about an hour. Even the deepest set stains become significantly lighter, while most discoloration is removed altogether. With proper oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist, these results can last for years.
Fortunately, most patients are good candidates for professional teeth whitening; however, some patients are advised not to undergo this treatment. At the aesthetic dentistry practice of Dr. Michael Bixby in Red Bank, teeth whitening candidates are carefully screened to make sure that the procedure is well suited to their individual cases. Those patients who are not suitable candidates may be able to achieve whiter teeth through alternative treatments such as porcelain veneers or dental crowns. Whatever your needs and goals, you can expect that Dr. Bixby will find the treatment that is right for you.
While the only way to know for sure whether you are a good candidate for teeth whitening is to meet with Dr. Bixby in a confidential, one-on-one consultation, there are some universal characteristics that are shared by most patients who successfully undergo the procedure.
Candidacy for Professional Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is highly effective at reducing the appearance or altogether eliminating the discoloration caused by time, wear, and most staining agents, including coffee, tea, tobacco, red wine, soda, and certain foods and medications. Nevertheless, patients must go into the procedure with proper expectations for the outcome. Most patients will emerge with teeth that are significantly whiter and more radiant; however, certain stains may linger, even if they are lightened. For more severe cases of discoloration, patients may wish to consider porcelain veneers, which completely conceal the visible surfaces of badly stained or otherwise superficially damaged teeth.
Assuming that patients have appropriate and realistic expectations of teeth whitening, suitable candidates should also:
- Have stains that are mostly yellowish in hue rather than purplish or greyish, as the former will respond better to the bleaching properties in the whitening gel.
- Be in reasonably good oral health. Patients with gum disease or dental caries will have to have these issues treated before undergoing teeth whitening. Teeth that are more severely damaged may require alternative treatments, such as dental crowns.
- Not be pregnant.
- Be at least 16 years of age.
- Not have sensitive teeth. Many patients experience heightened tooth sensitivity as a temporary side effect of teeth whitening. For patients who already have sensitive teeth, treatment could result in considerable discomfort.
- Be aware that crowns and other restorations will not respond to whitening treatment. While teeth whitening is often combined with other cosmetic treatments, older restorations may stand out after whitening.
Learn More about Teeth Whitening
To learn more about teeth whitening, or to schedule a consultation to find out whether you are a good candidate for the procedure, please contact the aesthetic dentistry practice of Dr. Michael Bixby today.