With so many tooth whitening options available today, you may begin to feel that any option is the same as the next, but that really is not the case. When choosing how to have your teeth whitened, you should consider your lifestyle, your desired outcome, and the cost of various options. You may be surprised at the results.
Why You Should Whiten Your Teeth
The truth is that the whiteness of your teeth is no indication of your dental health. Some people with very white teeth have multiple dental caries or even gum disease, while other individuals with severely stained teeth may have no other oral health problems.
So why is tooth whitening important? Your appearance can be dramatically altered just by the color of your teeth. Individuals with stained, yellow teeth are perceived as being both older than they are and unhealthy. A white, straight smile is often perceived as an indication of youthful health.
For these reasons many people choose to whiten their teeth immediately before an important event, like a wedding or important business trip, sometimes waiting until the last possible moment to do so. But only in-office professional tooth whitening can be completed in an hour. All other tooth whitening treatments require one to four weeks of application.
Your Teeth Whitening Options
You have three options for teeth whitening:
- Over-the-counter whitening kits
- Dentist-prescribed take home whitening kits
- In-office professional tooth whitening
Although the first two options may seem similar, the results are often quite different. Over-the-counter whitening kits require one to four weeks of application and whiten teeth an average of three to four shades. That’s up to 14 hours of whitening treatment. Dentist-prescribed take home kits take one to two weeks of application, or about 7 hours of treatment, and whiten an average of six shades.
In addition to taking just one hour to complete, professional teeth bleaching at a dentist office has the ability to whiten teeth an average of eight or more shades than when you first sit down in the chair. Additionally, in-office professional tooth whitening lasts an average of six to 12 months without needing to be repeated. You may, however, have a second whitening treatment if you want your teeth even whiter.
Professional tooth whitening may be the right option for you if:
- You are happy with the shape and health of your teeth, but not the color
- You have an important event coming up
- You would like to improve others’ perception of you
Professional tooth whitening can reduce the appearance of most dental stains, but no treatment can whiten teeth that have been chemically stained or are genetically discolored. If you suffer from either of these conditions, you may choose to consider dental bonding to make your teeth appear whiter.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Patti Swaintek-Lamb can answer your teeth whitening questions and discuss the results you can likely expect. Please call (800) 672-8518 or contact Aesthetic Dentistry of Bernardsville through the form on this page to make an appointment. Aesthetic Dentistry of Bernardsville serves patients from Bernardsville, Morristown, Basking Ridge, Mendham, Chester, Far Hills and surrounding areas in New Jersey.