WANT TO KNOW IF YOU CAN WHITEN YOUR TEETH?
In principle, anyone with good oral health can perform tooth whitening. Patients with dental problems, caries lesions, wear, tooth sensitivity, and others may need previous treatments, hence the importance of having tooth whitening performed by your dentist. Regarding age, young people under the age of 18 cannot carry out bleaching.
The selection of the technique depends on each patient’s clinical conditions, expectations, and the speed of intended treatment results. Your dentist will advise you on the most correct and suitable technique for you, always based on the best efficacy/safety ratio.
ARE TEETH WHITENING EFFECTIVE AND SAFE?
Although there are available on the market (supermarkets, pharmacies, and TV-Shops) over-the-counter products advertised as “whitening products,” OMD emphasizes that the safety in the professional use of dental whitening products is safeguarded under the supervision of a dentist.
Over-the-counter products present substantial differences between themselves and those applied by a professional, so they do not allow us to assert their effectiveness safely.
Indeed, any risk to users’ oral health will be prevented only and only if you choose to be supervised by your dentist.
WHAT SIDE MAY EFFECTS OBTAIN?
In general, side effects, whether dental or gums are related to the concentration of the products, the way they are applied, and each patient’s specific conditions. The most frequent ones are tooth sensitivity and some gingival discomfort that usually disappears with treatment interruption.
However, incorrect application of higher concentration chemicals can cause more severe and lasting injuries with or without accessory lights. Your dentist can prevent and clinically control these conditions.
Users who have dental restorations and prostheses may need to replace or repair them at the end of the whitening treatment to harmonize the color and integrity of the dental restorations, as the whitening products do not act on the color of the teeth.
WHO CAN PERFORM TEETH WHITENING?
Professional tooth whitening is a medical act that oral health professionals can only perform. This restriction is justified by the risks related to the bleaching products’ nature. Tooth whitening involves:
- Carrying out a prior clinical examination.
- Applying preventive operative measures when applying or using the whitening products by the user to avoid oral complications.
- Creating conditions to make the result more effective.
The guidelines and applications by the dentistavoid excessive times or unnecessary exposure to bleaching products during treatment. Thus, it is ensured the absence of risk factors or other oral diseases that do not recommend the performance of whitening.
In over-the-counter products, it is not possible to guarantee that the application by third parties in the user’s mouth complies with all hygiene and safety rules.
WHAT MATERIALS AND BLEACHING TECHNIQUES CAN BE USED?
Over-the-counter products cannot contain more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide in their constitution, which is the whitening product par excellence. For this reason, these over-the-counter products are being questioned about their effectiveness. In the European Union, the guarantee of the whitening effect was even punished as misleading advertising.
In treatments supervised by the dentist, in the application of whitening material at home (“outpatient treatment”), products of lower concentration are generally used (carbamide peroxide at 10%, but up to 16%), for variable periods (from 1 to 8 hours daily) for several days or weeks. In the case of application in the office, carbamide peroxide up to 16% and hydrogen peroxide up to 6% can be considered. Professionals can only apply these products under perfectly controlled conditions.
ARE LASER OR OTHER LIGHTS REQUIRED TO WHITEN YOUR TEETH?
What exerts a whitening effect are the chemicals applied simultaneously. The lights are used to speed up the chemical reaction of the products to make the whitening process faster.
WHAT QUESTIONS CAN YOU ASK YOUR DENTIST DOCTOR?
If you have doubts about the treatment, you will do, don’t be afraid to ask questions during your consultation, or do some additional research.
You can always try to clarify the following:
- What tooth whitening treatments are available, and what sets them apart?
- What kind of results can I expect?
- What can I do about stained veneers, crowns, or dentures to make sure they match my natural teeth?
- What are the risks associated with tooth whitening? Does it involve pain?
- Who will carry out the treatment? What training and experience do they have? Is the result guaranteed for some time?
- What is the post-treatment follow-up, and who can I contact for advice after bleaching