I finally have money to improve my smile and want to start by getting my teeth whitened. I heard that you have to be very careful when choosing a cosmetic dentist. Do you have any advice for me when it comes to finding the best dentist for teeth whitening?
It is great that you know to be careful with cosmetic dentistry. This is mostly relevant when you are talking about very advanced procedures such as porcelain veneers or dental bonding. In those cases, it makes sense to seek out the best dentist. Teeth whitening, however, is a little different. Just about any dentist can do it. Occassionally, I run into a question by someone whose dentist was confused about how it worked, but it would be hard to damage your smile with it.
Some Things to be Aware of with Teeth Whitening
- Teeth whitening will ONLY work on natural tooth structure. They will not work on things like dental crowns, etc. If you need dental work whitened they have to be replaced. The recommendation is that you whiten your teeth first and then replace the dental crown so this way you are matching it to the new, brighter color.
- Teeth whitening works evenly. If you have brown spots or white spots on your teeth, this is not the fix. It will uniformly whiten your teeth which tends to make the spots more visible. If this is something you are dealing with, let us know and we can advise you on the best course of action.
- There are different types of teeth whitening. With at home professional whitening, you can control the amount of brightness your teeth get. You simply wear the bleaching trays at a convenient time to you until you reach the level of whiteness you desire. Some dentists offer in-office whitening where you sit under a light and get your teeth bleached right there. It’s fast and effective, but you don’t control how white they get.
My suggestion is to talk to your dentist about your goals and see what he offers. If he doesn’t do teeth whitening, it is perfectly acceptable to stay with your dentist for your general care needs, but go elsewhere for your cosmetic needs. Be aware that you will need to have adone a recent cleaning appointment, otherwise the results can be splotchy.
This blog is brought to you by Decatur, AL Dentists Drs. Drake and Wallace.