Ask A Dentist: Common Questions About Teeth Whitening

It should come as no surprise to anyone that cosmetic dentistry is all about aesthetics. As such, the most popular procedure is the one that produces the best results. Teeth bleaching works, without a shadow of a doubt! A general dentist can lighten your smile by at least three shades during the treatment.

How Popular Is It?

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, we spend well over 1 billion dollars on over-the-counter whitening products each year. A few hundred million more goes toward professional teeth bleaching. Easily the most popular cosmetic dental procedure, requests for whitening have skyrocketed by around 300 percent since 1996!

Why Is It So Popular?

White teeth have always been a sign of good health and good genes. According to numerous surveys, a nice smile is the single most attractive physical feature. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t born with perfect pearly whites. We often spend thousands to straighten them with braces and make minor repairs as we age. But it is only recently that aesthetics has taken center stage.

A relatively new dental specialty, cosmetic dentistry focuses on the look of your choppers rather than how well they work. Because it is incredibly effective, bleaching is the most requested cosmetic procedure. And while it is true that you could save money on at-home whitening products, they are far less effective than the real thing.

The Process

All teeth change color and typically become darker over time. This happens because substances penetrate the outer layer of enamel and stain the inside bony tissue known as dentin. When this happens, simple brushing alone will not do much to remove these internal blemishes. Only deep-cleaning with professional tools and bleaching agents can erase them.

When To Bleach

It is important to note that tooth whitening is not an option for all patients. Even though it works in 90 percent of cases, there are some stains that may not respond well to the procedure. For example, teeth bleaching is extremely effective for patients that have yellowing choppers that cannot be whitened with brushing alone. Nearly all of these patients report an immediate improvement after their initial visit. But for folks who have brownish or gray teeth that were stained by smoking, whitening may not result in a dramatic improvement. These stains are simply too deep and too difficult to remove without causing increased sensitivity, even dental pain.

Is It Worth It?

Most patients think so, especially since the cost is not typically covered by dental insurance. That means they’re paying the cost entirely out of their own pocket. How much is it? The dentist bill for an initial teeth-bleaching session generally runs between $600 and $1,000. Regular maintenance visits or touch-ups are often less expensive.

How Often Is Whitening Needed?

It really does depend on your personal habits. If you are a big coffee or red wine drinker, they results may not last as long. You may require a monthly dentist visit to keep your gleaming smile.

Source by Andrea Avery

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