Willow Dental Care Network

Home of Family Sedation Dentistry

That Whole Whitening Process – And What Does it Mean?

It can be so confusing and expensive just to get some pearly whites. Today many businesses offer the treatment and there is so much offered over the counter. How do you decide? Is it price or is it results that determine your purchase?

To begin, have realistic expectations. Everyone’s teeth are different. Yellower teeth brighten better than grey shade of teeth. There will be some sensitivity with any type of process. AND if your teeth are stained or still has calculus it does not work. If you have any porcelain work it cannot be whitened. AND the real truth is that your teeth will yellow with age. Part of life!!

Enter spring  – right now – with a new you.

Here are some popular choices:

  1. Bleaching Trays for Home Treatment (can by $200-$400) Impression of your teeth are taken at the dental office and you go home with custom fitted trays and a supply of bleaching gel. The most effective results is to keep the trays with gel in your mouth nightly for two to six weeks. You would keep the gel on for three to four hours each night. This is considered the most effective because you have the longest exposure to the bleaching agent. It can take 3 to 5 days to really notice but the results can last one to three years. AND they trays can last forever…as long as you do not lose them.
  2. Light Therapy ($300-$500) For those who would like to just get it done, this in house whitening takes just over an hour. This is offered now in spas and even in Kiosks in the mall. A very bright light activates the agent that has been applied to your teeth. The only caution is that in some of these places the peroxide and barrier around the gums applied poorly or inadequately. There is sensitivity still and and a dental office will have fluoride solutions to calm sensitivity in the teeth and gums.
  3. Whitening Toothpaste ($2-$10) Toothpastes that whiten are really only removing stain using enzymes. To truly change the color of your teeth bleach is needed. However you need to be free of stains before whitening. so this may be a good way to start.
  4. Whitening Strips ($16-$100) If you have not had any success with drugstore  strips there are a couple of reasons. Over the counter strips just do not have the same level. If your teeth are not perfectly lined up the strips are a one size fits all and you may not be getting product on your teeth. But if you have beautifully aligned teeth this may be the way to go.

Generally a rule of thumb is to start this cosmetic process with a healthy mouth. It is the dentist who can plan a strategy of whitening if you want to upgrade the look of those porcelain crowns that looked great back in 1980.