Professional Teeth Whitening V Over the counter product – why you NEED to see a dentist for the teeth whitening best results.
There’s no doubt, people love the idea of perfect white teeth. “Restore confidence, regain your smile.” We all have seen the headlines. It’s on our news feeds, from our celebrities, its everywhere!
Does teeth whitening work?
Before we go into the trials and tribulations of the teeth whitening options, let’s look at what makes teeth appear yellow or discoloured:
- Consumption of tea, coffee, cola and red wine
- Bad dental hygiene
Ok, we can just eliminate the above to obtain fabulous white teeth (except getting older, wouldn’t it be great if we could!). Well, not quite. You see, unfortunately GENES also major contributor to the appearance and colour of your teeth.
This my friend, is WHY you need to see a dentist. No doubt, you have heard the promises of your teeth achieving up to “8 shades lighter” but is the messenger QUALIFIED to substantiate the claim?
Only a dentist can advise IF teeth whitening is a suitable option for you, and most importantly, HOW it will work for YOU. Unrealistic expectations are the prime reason why patients are disappointed in their teeth whitening results.
Dr Soraya Eakins at Greenvale Dental Group explains why:
- Teeth Enamel. You see, some of us are born with it, and well others struggle in the enamel department. The thinner your enamel, the more dentin shows through, which makes your teeth appear yellow and discoloured.
- Intrinsic staining or what is known as “stains INSIDE your teeth.” This can be caused by the use of antibiotics, during development in the womb or trauma.
No amount of “promises” can alter the above, this is why some people report great teeth whitening results and others are disappointed. However, some products will work better than others.
Why do I need a consultation before professional teeth whitening treatment?
There are many oral issues that can affect, or be affected by teeth whitening treatments, some can even cause permanent damage. The dentist will exam the patient for the following:
- Cavities will need to be treated prior to any whitening process due to the ability of the whitening solution to reach into the inner parts of the tooth.
- Receding gums can expose the root of the teeth which could be the reason why the teeth may appear yellow or discoloured. If this is the case, teeth whitening isn’t the solution and other treatment options will need to be considered.
- Scale and clean. This will be recommended prior to the whitening treatment to remove stains and plague, and frees the tooths surface for a better result.
Whitening solutions do not change the colour of ceramic/porcelain veneers or crowns. Whitening of the surrounding natural teeth will need to match the shade of the crown or veneer which cannot be achieved with over the counter products.
So, what are the best teeth whitening products?
Teeth whitening solutions contain peroxide. Carbamide peroxide (CP) or Hydrogen peroxide (HP). Only a dentist is permitted to use the highest level of peroxide during whitening treatment. Smile bars and dental spas cannot, by law, use the same strength.
Over the counter whitening
Generally purchased from a chemist, supermarket or ‘online’. These products often contain a whitening gel and an ‘one size fits all’ trays. They can be ineffective due to:
- Contain low peroxide therefore, a poor whitening result
- Uneven distribution of gel due to the lack of individually made trays.
- Often have a high acidic solution which is damaging to the enamel surface
Whitening toothpaste can be the least effective, but the most abrasive of all of the whitening products:
- Low peroxide therefore poor whitening results
- Very abrasive which can cause permanent damage to the tooths surface
This new ‘fad’ whitening is all the rage, but there is very little scientific evidence that says it’s effective.
- Activated charcoal is highly absorbent, hence the reason why hospitals use this method to treat patients with poisoning related issues. It’s so absorbent, that it will also absorbs ‘good’ matters from within your mouth such as medications. This can lead to overall health issues.
- The charcoal can get under your gums and into the tooths surface. Not only does it stain, there is no scientific evidence of the health claims made on detoxification.
Charcoal, even if finely milled, is abrasive and causes permanent damage to the tooths enamel.
Teeth are the only part of the body that cannot replenish or heal itself. Once the enamels gone, it’s gone.
Is there an alternative if I am not a suitable candidate for professional teeth whitening?
There sure is. Other cosmetic treatments such as crowns and veneers can provide the exact shade of white you desire, with the bonus of fixing other issues such as gaps, crooked teeth all at the same time. Whitening treatment does not last forever, no matter how diligent you are at looking after your oral care. Cosmetic dentistry allows a more permanent solution, with the results you desire.
At the end of the day, the cheaper products will not only leave you disappointed with the results, they can cause harmful and even permanent damage to your teeth and gums. A FREE consultation at Greenvale Dental Group, can set you on the right track in your quest for whiter teeth. Call us on 9333 6854.
Dr Soraya is the principal dentist and owner of Greenvale Dental Group with over 25 years’ experience in the field of dentistry.
Soraya’s areas of treatment include general dentistry, dental emergencies, dental implants, endodontics, cosmetic dentistry, and crown and bridge dentures.