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teeth_whiteningIf you’re considering teeth whitening, you are not alone. More Americans than ever are opting for teeth bleaching to enhance their appearance. Bleaching procedures at dental offices have increased by about 29 percent in 2015 and continues to do so, according to an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry survey.

The in-office process using high-concentration peroxide yields better results, often many shades lighter than with take-home kits and over-the-counter products.

Before heading for a consultation with your dentist about the procedure, weigh the pros and cons of the procedure for you.

 

PROS

You’ll Have a Brighter Smile!

A brighter smile makes someone’s day, week or year. But the degree of whiteness is patient-dependent. Some people’s teeth will whiten more than others. Generally, your teeth will be about three shades brighter after the procedure, but whether your teeth start off more yellow or more gray will have an impact. Yellow teeth tend to respond better to the whitening process.

 

The Brightness Generally Lasts About a Year

It helps if you avoid staining over that time. Drinks like coffee, tea, red wine, and soda. Those can darken the teeth more quickly over time.

 

The Process is Quick

It takes about an hour. A trained assistant provides the service, with the dentist inspecting the placement of the whitening material and checking before and after photos.

 

Advancements in Technology has Reduced Cases of Sensitivity

Many use a system called Zoom that in recent years has been updated to reduce tooth sensitivity experienced by some patients after the whitening. The old method used a light system that created a lot of heat, which caused a significant amount of tooth sensitivity after whitening. The new method involves an LED light source, so there’s really no heat generated, and therefore heat sensitivity is reduced.

 

CONS

Fillings in the Front Teeth Might Hinder the Effect

If you have fillings in your front teeth, they are not going to whiten and there’ll be uneven whiteness. Often at the end, you’ll end up with the natural enamel being lightened but the fillings will appear darker.

 

Tooth Sensitivity Might Still be a Thing

Some people are more prone to dental sensitivity. And even with updated systems, one could still experience rare cases of sensitivity to cold that can last up to three days.

Part of the kit you take home with you not only includes the touch-up whitener, but it includes a desensitizing agent. It is recommended that patients use the desensitizing agent regardless of whether they have sensitivity or not just to prevent it.