Why Professional Teeth Whitening Matters
Leaving others with a positive first impression of you in any scenario is of utmost importance.
Everyone’s personal appearance is important to them and rightfully so. And yet, it can be an oft-overlooked form of communication that impacts each one of us daily. Whether in our personal or professional lives, first impressions are indelible. With a mere glance, people judge your social and economic standing, level of intelligence, trustworthiness and so on. Which is why it’s vital to positively influence others’ perceptions of you from the get-go.
Social and psychological research has shown that appearance plays an important role in determining the quality of our interactions with others. It shouldn’t come as a surprise. The history of cosmetics spans more than 6,000 years. Its role has played and continues to play an important part in influencing our self-confidence, as well as how we’re viewed by others. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s State of the Industry Survey 2015 that polls dentists and oral health professionals for their insights, teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dental procedure they perform. When asked what reasons their patients cite for wanting cosmetic dentistry treatments such as teeth whitening, respondents said the majority of their patients (86%) wanted to improve their physical attractiveness and self-esteem.
But there’s more significance placed on having pearly white teeth than feeling good about ourselves. A growing body of evidence suggests teeth whitening is as important to working professionals as much as other general dentistry and healthcare services.
Once considered to be a cosmetic procedure, “cosmetic dentistry appears to be emerging as a health service”, as reported by the CDHA (Canadian Dental Hygeniest Association). In fact, the emphasis people are placing on the value of a sparkling smile is prompting more insurance companies to offer teeth whitening as a compensation-related benefit to dental insurance policies.
Advantages of Professional Teeth Whitening
Also known as “in-office teeth whitening”, professional teeth whitening procedures that are performed by a dentist are faster, and typically, more effective than DIY or over-the-counter treatments. That’s because dentists use stronger bleaching agents than what you can buy without a prescription at a pharmacy or retail store. Moreover, the risk of damage occurring to your gums and other tissues in your mouth is significantly minimized.
Professional teeth whitening is best for stains and discolouration caused by age, consumption of certain foods and tobacco use. This procedure however is not suitable for people with tooth and gum hypersensitivity and teeth that have become transparent over time.
The ADA urges patients considering teeth whitening treatments to visit a dentist first to ensure they understand what their options are. More importantly, to affirm no serious underlying medical condition is the cause of your teeth discolouration.
What Is the Teeth Whitening Procedure?
Professional teeth whitening performed by your dentist typically requires two treatments. Your first visit will involve a general examination, and your dentist will create a mould of your teeth to have a customized whitening tray or mouthguard made.
Your second visit involves trying on your customized whitening tray to ensure it’s comfortable, and the application of a highly concentrated whitening solution applied for approximately 30 minutes. Depending on the level of whitening your teeth need, you may be required to continue the treatment at home for a few weeks.
There is also an alternative procedure colloquially known as “power whitening” or “laser teeth whitening”. This procedure also includes a customized whitening tray, the application of a highly concentrated whitening gel, and a high-powered laser light used to enhance the whitening solution’s efficacy.
What Do I Need to Do to Prepare for this Treatment?
Good news! Preparing for your dentist to perform a professional teeth whitening procedure is easy. Refrain from smoking, drinking coffee, black tea, and wine, and practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing every day. If you have a buildup of plaque or tartar on your teeth, it’s best to have an oral hygienist clean your teeth before your teeth whitening appointment.
Are There Any Health Risks Involved?
Provided a dental professional administers the teeth whitening treatment to you, there are no risks involved. In general, teeth whitening – whether professional or DIY – is considered a low-risk procedure, making it suitable for a broad span of people. However, if you have extremely sensitive teeth or if the enamel on your teeth is thin and worn down, teeth whitening may not be your best option. The procedure can potentially make matters worse by causing you significant discomfort, increasingly thinning the enamel on your teeth, damaging the pulp inside your teeth, and the mucosal tissues in your mouth.
Have you had previous cosmetic dentistry procedures performed? Patients who have had treatments such as tooth or dental bonding, porcelain veneers, and crowns will need to have those restorations removed before the teeth whitening procedure, and then reapplied. The tooth bleaching materials used in teeth whitening treatments will not affect any discolouration or stains on the surfaces of artificial implants or veneers.
Additionally, if you have a habit of grinding your teeth while you sleep, or suffer from a temporomandibular joint disorder – chronic pain in the jaw, face, head, neck or shoulders – and want to get your teeth whitened, your best bet may be to take the in-office teeth whitening route to avoid inflaming the condition. Additionally, you may require a custom-made nocturnal mouthguard, or occlusal spint, to wear while sleeping to help prevent further damage to your teeth.
Considering Getting Your Teeth Whitened?
There are many reasons as to why you would want to get your teeth whitened and subsequently there are many options available to you as well. If you are considering a teeth whitening procedure, consult your dentist or dental hygienist first for recommendations. Professional teeth whitening is often recommended rather than over-the-counter remedies since it's faster, safer and causes less gum and tooth sensitivity. Learn more about our teeth whitening services by click on the button below.
Do you have questions about professional teeth whitening and what option is best for you? Contact us or book an appointment to speak with one of our dentists, and get the professional oral health advice you need.
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