What Works and What Doesn’t
Our dentists at the Placerville Dental Group want to provide you with some information on the topic of tooth whitening. It’s important to have the facts from a professional source, because frankly, there are so many inaccuracies out there that patients often have a false hope for “easy fixes.” The Placerville Dental Group is dedicated to giving you the best dental care possible, so we hope these insights on whitening procedures help you make an informed choice.
The Minimum Requirement
Tooth whitening products have flooded the dental market in recent years, as seen in local pharmacy aisles. Everything from whitening trays, strips, paint-on whitening gels, dental floss, special toothbrushes, gum and mouthwashes claim to make smiles whiter and brighter. Commercials and packaging use “before and after” photos to support their claims that their product is the “best and most effective.” There are many ways to whiten your teeth, so how do you choose and decide which method is best for you? First, start with this: do not choose a product that is not approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). The ADA sets the guidelines for approved active ingredients in dental products. Choosing only products approved by the ADA will ensure some amount of safety when using whitening agents.
Just because a product is safe, however, does not mean that it works effectively. Some products take months to create the least bit of change. You likely want your teeth to be whiter now, not later.
Important Steps Before You Whiten
First, any type of whitening procedure should start with a dental visit. Feel free to ask whitening questions of your Placerville dentist at your next appointment. Let them know you are thinking about whitening. They’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have and will also make sure you have a good start by doing an exam and performing a cleaning so you know exactly what your “best state” really is. Often, your teeth are significantly brighter after a prophylaxis treatment with our hygienist. Also, some stains cannot be removed by whitening products and actually require a procedure similar to a root canal to eradicate. In such cases, many patients prefer to use veneers. Either way, our dentists know the difference and can advise you accordingly.
The Recommended Procedures
When you decide for professional whitening, our dentists ask what level of whiteness you want to achieve for your teeth; whether its a minor improvement of three to five shades lighter or a dramatic change of ten to twelve shades lighter, our dentists provide professional recommendations just for you. For the best results, whitening is performed under the direct supervision of one of our dentists.
Over-the-counter whitening products may claim to give professional results, but anyone who tries them will tell you that’s not the whole truth. If the cost of professional whitening gives you cause for concern, think about this: over-the-counter products are often very expensive and usually require a series of purchases that add up to big money. An in-office whitening procedure delivers immediate results and requires a one-hour appointment. OTC products usually need days or weeks to show any kind of improvement at all.
If you want whiter teeth, but prefer getting the exact shade you desire, we also can supply you with custom trays to do whitening at home. These trays are easy to use and fit well, unlike the “one size fits all” style that comes from OTC purchases. Fill the tray with the whitening agents that we provide and wear them for one to eight hours a day. Depending on what brand and concentration you and the dentist select, results appear in seven to twelve days. After that, we recommend an in-office touch-up procedure to make sure you have a uniformly white smile.
Combining in-office whitening procedures with take-home trays is the way to get the maximum amount of whiteness possible. For the majority of our clients, however, one in-office procedure is more than enough to leave them extremely happy with their new smile. To fulfill your dream of a whiter and brighter smile, call us today at 530-295-8000, use our website to make an appointment or visit our office at 699 Main Street, Suite B. Guaranteed tooth whitening from our Placerville dentists saves money and time in the end. We look forward to serving you!