An interesting fact, naturally yellower teeth are healthier than white teeth. I was quite shocked the first time I heard that from a dentist since the majority of the population strives for perfectly aligned pearly whites.
Most people considering professional teeth whitening don't truly know the details involved in teeth whitening and are usually armed with many unanswered questions that need answers to help them make an informed decision. Here's some of the most popular questions asked by many patients seeking a tooth whitening treatment.
How white will my teeth get?
No one, not even your dentist will know how white your teeth will get until the treatment is over, each patient is different and how the teeth react to the whitening treatment is different for each individual. Generally, the professional teeth whitening products will get your teeth to the highest level of white they could possibly get, what that level is, no one knows.
Does Dental insurance pay for teeth whitening?
No, dental insurance does not generally cover cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening, but they will generally pay for the cleaning prior to the teeth whitening treatment. The results are much better if the teeth are cleaned and polished prior to the teeth whitening procedure. Understand your particular insurance plan and what your dental insurance covers.
How does tooth whitening affect my existing restorations?
Teeth whitening products do not have any effect on existing restorations. In fact, if you have existing crowns or composite fillings on your front teeth, you might not be a good candidate for teeth whitening. The whitening products do not change the shade of porcelain or resin material. If you are in need of restorations on your front teeth such as veneers, crowns or composite fillings, it's best to whiten your teeth prior to picking the shade on the final restorations in order to have natural matching results.
How long does teeth whitening last?
There are strict rules to follow after the teeth whitening procedures; it's highly recommended that no dark drinks such as coffee or sodas be consumed for a few weeks after the initial treatment. It's important to know that teeth whitening is not a permanent solution and must be maintained regularly by avoiding foods and drinks that stain your teeth. I consider it to be a commitment, especially if you have restorations. If you have restorations that were made to match your whitened teeth and you do not maintain your teeth whitening, you will end up with white restorations and yellow teeth, making those restorations really stand out and look fake. There are many over the counter products that help you maintain your teeth whitening regiment.
Do teeth whitening products damage my gums or teeth?
Although each patient is different, many patients tend to feel extreme sensitivity soon after the teeth whitening but it is short lived. There is no evidence to date that the teeth whitening procedure is harmful to the teeth. Many patients suffering from gum recession or periodontal issues might not be excellent candidates for this procedure. During the procedure, the dentist will create a protective cover for the gums, but many patients with gum recession are discouraged from having the procedure done.
I agree that our smile can have a huge impact on our social life, everyday interactions including success. It is more important to have healthy gums and teeth. It is a must to maintain your oral hygiene at home by brushing and flosshing regularly and properly. Know how often to replace your toothbrush, if you're not happy with your dentist, it's important to get a second opinion. Do your research, if you are in need of a new dental office, empower yourself with enough information in order to choose a good dentist.
Comment on this article and leave your feedback, If you are looking for whiter teeth and have a questions about teeth whitening, I will be happy to answer.
Pascale Skaf Saliba (author) from Orange County, CA on January 25, 2012:
Yes it is effective, but it is not something you do just once, I recommend the one hour with a dental professional followed by maintenance at home every couple of months, like I said it is a commitment to maintain.
Sonu Parashar from India on January 25, 2012:
Is it really effective ?