The Increasing Demand for Teeth Whitening

What you Need to Know about Teeth Whitening

In recent years, cosmetic dentistry has become increasingly popular.  One of the most common cosmetic procedures performed today is teeth whitening.  According to a recent survey, 96% of adults said that they felt that an attractive smile made them more appealing to the opposite gender, and 74% of adults said that they felt an unattractive smile would hurt them in their career. Whatever their reasons, more individuals are asking their oral care providers about the teeth whitening procedures they offer.

Teeth Whitening: What the Process Entails

For an in-office teeth whitening procedure, the office staff fills a tray that is shaped to fit your teeth with a bleaching solution.  The trays are then placed over the top and bottom teeth.  After this step, the dentist may place a light or heat source against or near the trays to speed up the process.  A treatment lasts 30-60 minutes. For the brightest results, patients need to have in office treatments multiple times.

Home Teeth Whitening vs. Office Teeth Whitening

As far as teeth whitening goes, there are two basic options.  Whitening at home or having the procedure performed in a professional’s office.  There are pros and cons to each choice.  Today there are a variety of teeth whitening products which can be found in stores including trays, strips, mouthwashes, gums, and toothpastes.  While these products have varying degrees of effectiveness depending on their use, there are several major benefits of home teeth whitening.  These products are relatively inexpensive, are easy to use and can be applied at the buyer’s convenience.  For individuals who have sensitive teeth or gums, some at-home whitening treatments can cause increased sensitivity or gum irritation.

The chemicals used during in-office whitening are typically stronger than at-home products.  Thus, in office teeth whitening can show results quickly and often with more vibrant results.  Dentists also have special tools and techniques to ensure that sensitive gums don’t experience the irritation that can be caused by other at home procedures.  When selecting in-office treatments, patients should be aware that the procedure is more expensive than the over the counter method and that a teeth whitening procedure has to be scheduled in advance.  In general, individuals trying to decide between at home teeth whitening and in-office teeth whitening should consider the condition of their teeth, the extent of “whiteness and brightness” they want, and their price range before making the decision.

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