Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatment in America. Many men and women have teeth that have become yellow and discolored due to years of drinking coffee, tea, and wine. In addition, the natural aging process means that teeth turn darker over time even if you've never touched a food or drink that could stain the teeth.
Here at Cosmetic & Esthetic Dentistry, experienced cosmetic dentist Dr. Ryan Clancy offers both in-office and take-home whitening solutions for our Boston patients. If you are interested in teeth whitening, call us at 781-396-8558 today to schedule your consultation.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
We use the Opalescence Boost power whitening system for in-office teeth bleaching, and we also offer customized take-home trays for maintenance. The Opalescence system utilizes a chemically activated gel that can brighten teeth up to 10 shades in just 40 minutes, and is able to remove both surface stains and deeper stains.
Professional in-office tooth whitening ensures greater safety for the gums and more evenly treated teeth than is possible with over the counter tooth whitening systems. In addition, in-office whitening gel is much more powerful, meaning that you can see greater results in less time.
Benefits of Opalescence Boost Teeth Whitening
The Opalescence Boost teeth whitening system that we use offers a number of benefits over retail whitening systems and other systems such as Zoom! teeth whitening. These benefits include:
- Short treatment time of just two 20-minute sessions
- No need for light activation
- Highest percentage of hydrogen peroxide at 40%
- Includes desensitizing agents for patient comfort
- Maintains neutral pH levels to keep mouth healthy
- Formulation includes water to lessen tooth dehydration during the process
Although Opalescence Boost contains desensitizing ingredients, tooth sensitivity may occur after treatment. This is a common side effect, and unfortunately there is no way to know beforehand if a patient will experience extreme sensitivity or not. Luckily, enhanced sensitivity generally only lasts for a few hours. We will prescribe medication for patients who experience worse than usual sensitivity.
Who Is a Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
If you have mild to moderately discolored teeth that you would like to lighten, you are probably a candidate for teeth whitening. However, there are some factors that may prevent you from being a good candidate. You may not be an ideal candidate if:
- You are a heavy smoker
- You have gum disease or significant decay
- You have sensitive teeth
Since teeth whitening can result in some tooth sensitivity, if you already have teeth that are very sensitive, you should probably not undergo teeth whitening. In addition, if you are a heavy smoker, you will not see long-term results. Teeth whitening can certainly lighten your teeth even if you are a smoker, but if you cannot quit smoking or reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke, your teeth will inevitably become stained again.
Gum disease and tooth decay will need to be treated before you can undergo teeth whitening. If your tooth decay is extensive, you may need a full restorative plan that includes dental crowns and fillings. Teeth whitening can be used to match the rest of your natural teeth to the shade of your restorative dentistry work, though.
How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?
Teeth whitening can last for a long time with proper oral hygiene and maintenance. For best results, we recommend following these tips:
- Cut down on consumption of coffee, tea, red wine, and berries
- Reduce or eliminate junk food from your diet
- Brush twice a day and floss daily
- If you are a smoker, try to quit
- Visit Dr. Clancy for regular cleanings and checkups
- Use a custom at-home whitening tray as needed
For maintenance with an at-home whitening tray, we recommend getting a custom tray created in our office over buying one over the counter. This is because a tray customized to your teeth will give more effective and even results, and lessens the chances of irritating your gums since it's designed specifically for your mouth.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
Teeth whitening is perfectly safe when performed by an experienced cosmetic dentist using proven safe and effective professional systems. When performing teeth whitening, Dr. Clancy will:
- Make sure you are a good candidate
- Protect your gums
- Stop treatment if your teeth become too sensitive
- Provide follow-up instructions and care
It is a myth that teeth whitening will make your teeth brittle and weak. Professional whitening does not harm tooth enamel when performed properly, and it does not alter the structure of the tooth in any way. The majority of our patients are very happy with their tooth whitening outcomes.
Schedule Your Tooth Whitening Consultation
If you are interested in quickly and safely lightening your teeth, call Dr. Clancy today at 781-396-8558 to schedule your consultation. We serve patients in Medford, Winchester, Somerville, Cambridge, and other areas of greater Boston.