My Experience with Professional Teeth Whitening
A survey done by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found out that 99% of adults believe their smile is an important asset. I fully agree with this and therefore, I made the decision to make mine look better. After all, I believe that it makes one look more positive and thus affect how other people perceive me.
Unfortunately, years of neglect and not-so-good cleaning habits have taken their toll. Although this happens naturally as we age, my extreme love for coffee has also added to the staining. For many years, I tried to just improve it by improving my oral hygiene, but I did not have much success. When procedures to improve tooth color came out, I considered going to the dentist to get the treatment. Back then, it was relatively new and the main question in my mind was: “is teeth whitening good or bad?”
Nowadays, almost all dentist clinics offer this procedure to patients. There are also some options to do it at home, making it harder for patients like me to decide. Before my appointment at the clinic, I decided to visit MyDental group page for more information.
Because I wanted to make the best choice, I set an appointment with a professional first. After all, I expect them to be able to assess the status of my teeth first and receive expert advice.
During my visit, my dentist clarified the differences between doing it at his clinic and at home:
Home kits are obviously the cheaper option because you are not paying for a professional to do it. They are popular because it is quite easy to use as well. Lastly, you will not need your dentist’s supervision or advice to do this. However, they use weaker agents applied through whitening strips, tooth gel, mouth trays or even gum version. These are all safe, but might not be as successful especially if your teeth have a lot of stains on them.
Obviously, an in-office procedure is better and recommended by dental professionals. After all, this is a specialized treatment that requires adequate knowledge and expertise. Because of their qualification, they are also allowed to use stronger agents. These are incredibly effective and after one visit can already transform your teeth. In about 1 hour, they can brighten up to several shades.
Opting naturally to use the second option, my dentist booked me for the 3 appointments necessary. My dentist has already assessed that I am suited to go through this treatment.
On the first of these 3 days, they created a mouth guard after taking impressions of my teeth.
When I came back for the next procedures, the dental team first put a rubber shield on my gums in order to protect them. Using the special tray or mouth guard from the first visit, they applied the whitening product onto my teeth. The active ingredient, normally hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, breaks down afterward. This allows oxygen to get into my tooth enamel and the color becomes lighter.
I was also given some of the whitening product to bring home with me. I needed to apply it myself over a couple of weeks, at around 30 to 60 minutes at a time.
I was informed of possible side effects, though I have luckily not experienced any of them. However, some might feel some sensitivity to the cold afterward. Some may also feel some discomfort in their gums, even have a sore throat or white patches. Do not fear as these are temporary and will go away after a few days. Your dentist always knows what is best for you. However, should it not improve, call your dentist immediately.
Because of this dental supervision and the use of mouth guards specially made for your mouth, it is obviously better to do it at the clinic than at home. The home kits use a generic tray that might not fit and might cause the gel to leak. It will make the procedure less effective and cause some irritation on your gums. Your dentist will also be able to address any sensitivity or issues arising from the treatment.
Nowadays, there are also laser whitening options, where a rubber dam is placed as gum protection, then a bleaching product is painted on the surface of the teeth. Afterward, a light or laser is used to shine on the tooth to make the chemical active. This leads to a quicker color change.
What really impressed me is the duration of the bleaching, with teeth staying whiter for around 3 years. Though this relies, of course, on personal hygiene and diet, this is a very good option for those who feel insecure or unsatisfied with the status of their teeth. As for me, I am a very satisfied patient and enjoy flashing my white smile at everyone I meet now. They surely brighten up my day and hopefully, others too.