Professional teeth whitening seems to be the most popular solution for stained teeth, but is it your best option? Teeth are either bleached in your dentist’s office or at home with provided tools. Determining factors such as poor gum health and existing dental work may make other methods better solutions. Nashville Center for Aesthetic Dentistry – Dr. Dennis Wells can help you get the information you need to make an informed decision.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Professional Whitening? Professional bleaching is a good answer for most people with permanent teeth and good oral health. Additionally, if you do not have tender or receding gums, bleaching should be fine. It works well to eradicate stubborn, yellowish stains, however, the American Dental Association states that brown and gray stains do not always whiten well. Patients with previous work to front teeth, tooth-colored fillings, and crowns are also not good candidates. Your dentist can tell you if you are a good candidate or what other options might be available for you.
What Are Other Options? Overall if your teeth and gums are healthy, you will probably get a green light for professional whitening. As mentioned, people who have gum disease may be told to avoid bleaching treatments, as the chemicals used can irritate gums and sensitive teeth. Even if you don’t qualify for professional whitening, you can always start with a professional cleaning. Patients with porcelain crowns, caps, and other restorative work to the front teeth do not qualify, but there are excellent alternatives. Fortunately, your dentist will still likely be able to improve the appearance of your teeth. Porcelain veneers or bonding can help you to get a nice-looking smile that you can be proud of. The higher cost of professional bleaching can also be a limiting factor and there may be easier and less expensive ways to remove your stains. For minor discoloration, professional cleaning and the use of whitening toothpaste in between office visits may be all that you need to keep your sparkling smile. You can also talk to your dentist about over-the-counter whitening kits like strips and gels. These products are not as harsh as professional treatments and they are a less expensive option.