What To Consider Before You Get Your Teeth Whitened

Posted on: 5 January 2015

If you are thinking about getting your teeth whitened, going to your dentist is a great option. However, there are some things to think about before you make this decision. When you're ready to seriously contemplate a professional teeth whitening, consider the following things first.

Types of In-Office Whitening Methods

The first thing to decide before you go to your dentist for teeth whitening is choosing between the types of in-office whitening methods. Most dentists offer both tray whitening and laser whitening options. Tray whitening requires first getting impressions of your teeth, then waiting a couple weeks for the custom-made trays to come in. You will have your first treatment in the office with the whitening gel and trays, then be sent home to repeat the process every day for about a week.

Laser whitening is much faster, though also more expensive. It is done in the office and takes about an hour of your time. The result of laser whitening is also immediate.

Cleanings and Dental Work

Before you can get professional teeth whitening, you will need to see your dentist for an examination. You must have your teeth professionally cleaned if it has been a while since you have done so. It is best to get whitening shortly after having your regular check-up. Your dentist will also advise that you get necessary dental work done, such as getting a filling for a cavity or having a root canal. Cavities can get more sensitive and painful if they aren't treated prior to getting bleaching done.

Heightened Sensitivity

After you have your teeth whitened, you will have some sensitivity. The severity of the sensitivity depends entirely on you. If you have overly sensitive teeth, it is going to be worse for you than someone else. Be prepared for this, as you may not feel well for a couple days after the procedure. You might not want to eat much or go to a social function if it is causing you any discomfort. If you are getting your teeth whitened before a special event, do so at least 1-2 weeks before the event so you are feeling better by then.

The Success Rate

There is a very high success rate for teeth whitening, but be aware it does not work in 100 percent of cases. If your teeth are more on the yellow side, you have a very good chance of good results following the whitening treatment. However, it does not always work on teeth that are more brownish than yellowish. If you have stains that are brown and gray from smoking or fluorosis, your teeth might not end up as white as you like.

When You Can't Get Teeth Whitening

The last thing to consider is whether or not teeth whitening is right for you. Some general dentistry dentists will not even attempt whitening the teeth if you have extreme sensitivity, worn enamel, or advanced gum disease. In some cases, they simply suggest against it, but will still try it if you are adamant. However, if you have periodontal disease that has not been treated, you are not a good candidate for whitening.