If you wish you had whiter teeth but you have problems with tooth sensitivity when you use over-the-counter teeth whitening products, then talk to a cosmetic dentist about your options.
A cosmetic teeth whitening procedure may be what you need since the dentist can control the application to ensure your gums are protected and that the right solution strength is used. Here's what you might experience with a professional teeth whitening procedure.
Have An Evaluation
The dentist will check your mouth on the first visit for cavities, gum disease, and other problems that might be causing your tooth sensitivity. If problems are found, the dentist may recommend that you have fillings or other treatments to get your teeth in their best shape for the procedure.
The dentist might also recommend that your teeth be cleaned before the whitening procedure so the gel can work on your teeth and not be blocked by tartar and plaque. During the initial evaluation, the dentist may talk to you about the shade of whiteness you want, the type of procedure you prefer, and what kind of results you can expect.
Undergo Bleaching In The Office
A cosmetic dentist can lighten your teeth several shades in one visit using a bleaching solution and a light that causes the bleach to be more effective. This type of bleaching has the potential to cause tooth sensitivity afterward, so your dentist will discuss if this procedure is right for you depending on how sensitive your teeth are before the procedure.
This teeth whitening uses a higher concentration of bleaching gel than is in over-the-counter products. That in combination with the light can give you fast results. The dentist preps your mouth carefully so your lips, gums, and inside of your mouth do not contact the gel.
The dentist may apply a protective gel to your gums and lips and use an oral device that keeps your lips away from your teeth. This procedure might be over in several minutes, but the length of the treatment depends on how white you want your teeth and what your dentist thinks is appropriate if you have sensitive teeth.
Use Custom Trays And Prescription Gel
Your dentist might recommend using whitening treatments at home to maintain your white teeth. Your cosmetic teeth whitening treatment may last longer if you use a whitening toothpaste and whitening gel at home. Instead of over-the-counter products that may not be as safe or as effective, the dentist may suggest a custom mouth tray that fits your mouth perfectly to avoid gum irritation, and a higher-strength bleaching solution.
If you choose to buy and use over-the-counter products, the dentist can advise you on which ones to use, especially if you still have sensitive teeth. The custom tray and gel can also be used at home in place of an office procedure. The results won't be as fast, but you'll still get whiter teeth and you can control how white you want to go.
Cosmetic teeth whitening can have a dramatic effect on your smile, but be aware that your teeth will start collecting stains and discoloration as you go about daily life. You can slow the process by avoiding foods and drinks that stain your teeth and by stopping smoking.