Making a Good ‘Impression’
Last week we looked at how and why people whiten their teeth and over-the-counter products available. This week we will be looking at professional teeth whitening and why I, as a Dental Hygienist , believe that if you are seriously considering this cosmetic procedure, you should get all the facts first.
Why you should have your teeth whitened with a Dental Professional
- A proper oral assessment will determine whether you are a suitable candidate for teeth whitening (not everyone is)
- Some tooth whiteners can cause sensitivity to your teeth and gums (we can help minimize and help prevent this particular side effect)
- You will see results immediately or within days (depends on in-office or home kit) rather than weeks
- You may not require a whitening touch-up for years
- Professional strength products actually work
How do take-home kits work?
Typically we book two or three appointments for the take-home system.
At our first appointment, a consent for whitening form is discussed and signed and then we do a shade analysis to determine our starting shade. We then take impressions of your upper and lower teeth from which we will make our plaster models. At this appointment we will often dispense a desensitizing product for home use if there is any suspicion that there may be sensitivity during the whitening process.
During the next week, we fabricate the custom trays by heating and vacuum forming our whitening material to the plaster models, trimming and buffing them so they will fit snuggly and comfortably around all your teeth.
The second appointment (a week after the first), is to fit the whitening trays, making sure they stay securely in place and to dispense the whitening gel kit with instructions for home use.
Typically most people achieve desired results within a 2-3 week period of wearing the trays daily. However everyone’s teeth are different and whiten at different rates so that is why a third appointment is often recommended.
At this third appointment, we will compare before and after shades and discuss sensitivity. If there are no contraindications and the client wishes to continue, we can dispense another course of whitening gel.
How much will this cost?
Dental offices usually charge anywhere from $150.00 to $400.00 for two week take-home kits. What is important to keep in mind is that while the initial charge for this system may seem like a lot, you will find that over the years when you do touch-ups (people usually like to do this 2 times yearly), you only have to pay for the whitening gel (typically around $7.00 for a 2-application syringe) as you will have the custom trays to use over and over again for years.
Next week we will look at in-office whitening and why this has been the favored method of whitening for most of my clients.
In the meantime, have you tried in-home whitening products? What have been your results? I love hearing about peoples’ experiences and here on my blog, you will get commentluv. That’s a plug-in for bloggers. When you leave your comment, you can leave a link back to your own blog. But you don’t have to be a blogger to leave a comment, I’d love to hear from all of you.
Until next time,