What is professional teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments in Houston, TX. As the name suggests, teeth whitening is a procedure wherein special techniques are used to whiten and brighten your teeth. Professional teeth whitening involves in-office techniques, such as laser teeth whitening, teeth bleaching, and others. These procedures are carried out as in-office, outpatient procedures that conclude within an hour.
Professional teeth whitening is better than at-home teeth whitening because the results are a lot better and more immediate. With at-home teeth whitening methods, you’ll need to use whitening strips or toothpaste for weeks without much difference. Furthermore, over-the-counter teeth whitening products often contain harmful ingredients that can affect your overall dental health. Professional teeth whitening helps you achieve a bright smile in one session.
What’s involved in tooth whitening?
If you’re considering professional teeth whitening in Houston, TX, you must have several questions. We provide a step-by-step overview of the tooth whitening process so you know exactly what to expect.
Step 1: Consultation
The professional teeth whitening process starts with a consultation with the dentist. The cosmetic dentist will examine your teeth to determine if you’re a suitable candidate for teeth whitening. You can only proceed with teeth whitening if you have healthy teeth without active infections, inflammation, cavities, gingivitis, or exposed roots. If you have existing dental problems, the cosmetic dentist will recommend treatments to improve your overall dental health before proceeding with teeth whitening.
The dentist will also determine if you have any allergies, so they might apply a gel containing hydrogen peroxide to determine if you have a reaction. If so, they may advise against proceeding with teeth whitening. Furthermore, some people have intrinsically stained or yellowed teeth due to excessive exposure to fluoride as a child or other problems. If that’s the case, teeth whitening or teeth bleaching may not provide sufficient results, and the dentist might recommend veneers or other alternatives.
Step 2: Preparation
Before your teeth whitening starts, the dentist will protect your gums from the bleaching agent. They’ll attach a rubber dental dam or gum protector to prevent the bleaching agent from affecting your gums. In some cases, the dentist might also use cheek retractors to prevent your lips from contacting the bleaching agent. After the preparation, you can proceed with your professional teeth whitening in Houston, TX.
Step 3: Bleaching
Your teeth whitening will be performed using teeth whitening products with a hydrogen peroxide content ranging from 15 to 43%. This means you receive extremely concentrated teeth whitening products — at-home teeth whitening products have a hydrogen peroxide content ranging from 5 to 14%. The cosmetic dentist will carefully apply the concentrated hydrogen peroxide gel to your teeth, thus ensuring quick and efficient results.
Step 4: Laser Treatment
Some professional teeth whitening procedures only include teeth bleaching. However, the most advanced teeth whitening procedures involve laser treatment. In this case, the cosmetic dentist uses laser energy to catalyze the bleaching gel’s capabilities. You’ll have to wear a pair of protective eyewear to protect your eyes. The laser will be directed at your teeth — the laser energy will generate heat to speed up the bleaching agent’s oxygenation process. This catalyzes the bleaching agent and speeds up the whitening process.
What kinds of teeth whitening options are available?
- Teeth Whitening Toothpaste: Teeth whitening toothpaste and mouthwash contain mild abrasives that remove superficial stains from the surface of your enamel. They contain low doses of hydrogen peroxide to remove the surface stains, but they don’t penetrate deeper, so they’re not suitable for dramatic improvements.
- Teeth Whitening Strips: Teeth whitening strips are strips of peroxide gel that you apply to your teeth. Depending on the manufacturers, the whitening strip can be applied for up to 30 minutes a day for a few weeks, depending on your dentist’s recommendation. This will gradually improve your teeth’ brightness, but it doesn’t provide the same degree of improvements as professional teeth whitening.
- Teeth Whitening Trays: Teeth whitening trays are mouthguard-like devices. You have to apply a low-concentration peroxide gel to the whitening tray and wear it on your teeth to activate the bleaching response. You need to wear whitening trays for multiple weeks regularly to see results. It’s best to get whitening trays from a dentist, so they can prepare custom trays according to your dental anatomy.
- Teeth Whitening Lasers: Teeth whitening lasers are professional teeth whitening are the ideal techniques for long-term and dramatic teeth whitening. Cosmetic dentists can use bleaching agents with a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide, which can be catalyzed by lasers. As such, professional teeth whitening can brighten your smile by up to 8 shades in one session.
Are store-bought whiteners safe?
Store-bought teeth whiteners aren’t safe or effective. They don’t cover your entire teeth properly, and the whitening gel can reach your gums and soft tissues, increasing the risk of sensitivity. Furthermore, since the whitening trays aren’t designed according to your specific dental anatomy, they don’t reach all the areas evenly, so they’re not very effective. They can also result in an uneven smile.
Is teeth bleaching safe?
Professional teeth bleaching is safe when performed by a reliable cosmetic dentist. That’s because they use the safest products and use safety measures to prevent the bleaching gel’s exposure to your gums and soft tissues. At-home teeth bleaching can lead to harsh side effects.
How much does teeth bleaching cost?
The cost of teeth whitening varies based on the type of whitening, the location of the dental clinic, and the extent of whitening necessary. Please consult your cosmetic dentist to determine the cost of teeth whitening.
Where can I find a teeth whitening dentist in Houston?
URBN Dental Uptown has some of the most reliable teeth whitening dentists in Houston, TX. You can find our teeth whitening dentists at 2400 Mid Ln #350, Houston, TX. Please schedule an appointment online or call us at +1 713-322-8442.