What To Expect During an In Office Teeth Whitening
Even if you do all the right things to keep your teeth white, they still naturally discolor as we age. Home whitening treatments can help, but you’ll get much better results from a professional in office teeth whitening session.
Here’s what you can expect during and after the procedure.
That American Dental Association (ADA) recommends consulting with your dentist before using any whitening product. You should have your teeth professionally cleaned as part of the initial consultation. This allows for the removal of all surface stains and built-up tartar.
Once your teeth are clean, your dentist will examine your teeth and help you determine the best whitening procedure for your specific needs. Professional advice is particularly important when you have dark stains, crowns, or a lot of fillings. If your goal is to have noticeably whiter teeth after one treatment, an in office teeth whitening using a laser or special light is likely the best option.
Preparing for Treatment
When you arrive for treatment, you may receive a touch-up cleaning. A shade guide is often used to determine the initial color of your teeth. This will help document the effectiveness of the treatment after it’s done.
Professional bleaching solutions can irritate or damage the soft tissues in your mouth. The dentist will take protective steps including the use of:
- Dental dams
- Cotton rolls and gauze
- Cheek retractors
Protective eyewear and a face bib can also help avoid accidental contact with your face or eyes.
Once you’re all prepared, the dentist will apply the whitening agent. If using a light or laser for activation, it will also start at this time.
The procedure typically takes 60 to 90 minutes. The dentist will likely chance out or refresh your whitener several times during the course of the procedure.
It’s possible that you may experience some teeth sensitivity. If it’s overly uncomfortable, the dentist may decide to cut your treatment short. This is not common, but it is an option if necessary.
The Final Results and Follow-Up
Immediately after your procedure is done, your teeth will actually be a bit dehydrated. This causes them to appear whiter than they actually are. As your teeth rehydrate over the next few hours, the color may darken slightly.
Despite the rehydration effect, your smile will be noticeably whiter and brighter after all is said and done. For best results, avoid smoking and drinking chromogenic agents like coffee, cola, or red wine within two hours of treatment.
Your dentist may also recommend that you follow up with an at-home tray-based bleaching product. This will help combat the rehydration effect. It also allows you to maintain optimal whitening until you’re ready for your next professional treatment.
Ready for Your In Office Teeth Whitening?
Having your teeth professionally whitened is an excellent way to boost your self-esteem.
Whether you’re ready to get started or still have some questions, we’re here to help. Contact us today by phone or email or use our convenient online form.