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3 Questions to Ask a Dentist Before Teeth Whitening Procedures
Several teeth whitening options are available nowadays to brighten your smile – from the professionally-done in-office applications to over-the-counter kits for home use. However, before you go ahead with teeth whitening, it is advisable to meet with the dentist to learn about the procedure.
Questions to ask
The following are three questions to ask the dentist before proceeding with teeth whitening:
Are there any dental issues that might cause complications with teeth whitening?
Before going ahead with teeth whitening, patients need to identify the underlying cause of tooth discoloration and ensure it is not a dental problem. Issues like tooth decay, root canal problems or gum disease need to be treated first, since teeth whitening will only cover the real problem. Aside from these issues being the cause of the tooth stains, they could also have negative effects on the results.
Some patients may want to consider undergoing other cosmetic treatments for gummy smiles or short teeth before teeth whitening. These features usually become more prominent after whitening. In such situations, treatments such as veneers, grafts or scaling would be preferable to achieve aesthetically appealing results.
How much whitening is necessary?
There is no definite answer to this. A popular misconception about teeth whitening is that whiter teeth usually mean an attractive smile. Many professionals believe that the ideal teeth color is one that matches eye whites. To be sure of the best option in terms of effectiveness and safety, patients should get a dental exam and cleaning. The strength and effectiveness of the method or product vary remarkably, which is why patients need to discuss with their dentist and ask important questions before getting their teeth whitened.
How will teeth whitening treatment affect existing dental restorations?
Generally, teeth whitening does not work on dental restorations like dental fillings, veneers and crowns – and that could be an issue. Composite resin or porcelain material has its color fixed, and the chemicals used in teeth bleaching leave no mark on it. The concern is if whitening surrounding natural teeth will cause a color disparity, making the smile unattractive.
Teeth whitening only works on natural teeth. When fillings and crowns are on the front row teeth, patients must work with their dentist to know how the whitening procedure will affect their smile. In some cases, the dentist may be able to whiten the remaining teeth to a shade identical to the dental restoration. In other situations, the dentist may need to replace the restorations at the time of teeth whitening.
Before opting for teeth whitening, visit your dentist for a thorough examination and consultation. During your appointment, you can ask questions about the procedure. The dentist will enlighten you on whether teeth whitening is a good option for you or if there are underlying problems to resolve first. You will also learn about different products and techniques and how to make the whitening process more effective. If you want more information, contact your dentist to schedule an appointment.
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