As a practicing Hobart Dentist I don’t think a day goes by without someone asking me about teeth whitening and / or teeth whitening treatments.
So, here are some answers that may help – before you decide and take the plunge on a teeth whitening treatment go over this check list of things and once you’re up to speed with the main issues to consider then you can explore your options more thoroughly.
Not everyone’s teeth can be whitened (sorry to be the bearer of bad news) Teeth whitening is a bad idea if your teeth and gums are not in good condition as the procedure may cause more damage than its worth.
Are my teeth suitable for whitening?
A Dentist is the only person trained and qualified to make an accurate assessment of your teeth and gums so the safest way to work out if your teeth are suitable for whitening is to see your dentist first.
At the Dental Pod a proper assessment would include…….
Checking for things such as enamel thickness, existing restorations (fillings, crowns and veneers), receding gums, sensitivity, tooth decay and any other oral diseases or conditions. Also we would assess the cause for the dis-colouration, taking into account your diet and age. It is important to know whether any discolouration is on the surface or inside the teeth and only a qualified dentist is able to carry out these kinds of checks and recommend a suitable whitening treatment.
So how to avoid a teeth whitening disaster……..
Dentist’s warn against buying cheap and nasty DIY home teeth whitening products that require you to use ready made trays that rarely fit properly and puts you at risk of burns to your gums and swallowing chemical bleaching gel.
Professional teeth whitening poses little to no risks if done correctly and by a qualified dentist. However if you choose the wrong treatment for your teeth or that treatment is applied incorrectly then some damage can occur. It is beat to remember, when all is said and done it is still a chemical bleach!
Here are some common complaints when teeth whitening goes wrong…….
- Severe and painful tooth sensitivity
- Inflamed, blistered or damaged gums
Some teeth whitening products can be very harsh and contain well over the recommended 6% level of active ingredient. So before you go plastering your teeth with bleach read the product label as some products can vary from 3% to 35% of active ingredient.
Also it is good to remember that if you have crowns, veneers or fillings these will not change colour with bleaching so while your natural teeth will whiten the other things will not, leaving you with colour variations
OK so what about the end results ?
Some people have fabulous results while others are very disappointed. Your dentist can help you to understand the outcome and manage your expectations. The most reasonable outcome for most people after whitening their teeth will be a shade or two lighter or brighter but for some they will see no change at all.
Doing this checklist before Teeth Whitening can save you from unnecessary pain and possible irreparable damage to your teeth or mouth.
So, if you’re still keen to improve the whiteness of your teeth, go through these steps to ensure you have chosen the right treatment.
Have you tried other ways to whiten your teeth?
Did you know that there could be other ways to whiten your teeth without using harsh chemicals?
- Have you tried having a professional scale and clean?
- Are you already maintaining excellent oral hygiene habits?
- Have you consulted with your dentist and had your teeth assessed for whitening suitability?
- Has a dentist looked at your teeth before whitening and are you aware of all the potential risks and side effects of teeth whitening?
- Has a dentist helped you to understand what kind of outcome you can expect from whitening your teeth?
- Are you following your dentists recommendations?
- Talk to your dentist about Air Polishing – it may be a better solution for you.
So, your having your teeth whitened – It works like this:
After Dr. Dirk Jacobsen has assessed that a take home bleaching kit is the right method for you he will take an impression of both your upper and lower teeth. These impressions are sent to a dental lab where a technician fabricates your custom trays precisely to fit your teeth. The trays are then sent back to the Dental Pod and we book you in for a fitting. And lastly Dr. Jacobsen will give you a step by step “how to” before sending you home to begin your whitening adventure.
Book an appointment for your teeth whitening at the Dental Pod and come and meet your friendly Hobart Dentist Dr. Dirk Jacobsen – Call today on 6234 5114.
Because it’s time to think differently about your dental health….