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Key Facts For First-Time Tooth Whitening Patients

If you've been looking to improve your smile, one of the things that you should consider is a professional whitening treatment. It can help eliminate the discoloration and staining that leaves your teeth looking unsightly. However, if you're uncertain about the process, or if you've never done it before, there are a few things that your dentist may want you to know. Here are a few of the basics that you should understand before you make that appointment.

Is The Procedure Right For You?

Tooth whitening isn't like some other dental procedures that can be a poor fit for those with certain medical problems or complications. However, that doesn't mean that the procedure is actually right for everyone. In most cases, it's a good fit and a successful treatment option for those who have generally healthy teeth and are dealing with surface stains.

If you have staining that's the result of problems with the inner dentin in your teeth, whitening won't help you. It cannot reach that far beyond the tooth enamel or overcome stains that are that deep. For those patients, you are better off considering veneers or something similar.

What Can You Expect From The Procedure?

Especially for those who are unfamiliar with tooth whitening, the uncertainty of what to expect can discourage them from seeking treatment. The fact is that it's a fairly simple procedure, and one that can be completed in about an hour of your time.

You'll have a full dental cleaning before your whitening appointment. This is important to remove any plaque or tartar buildup on your teeth so that the whitening treatment will be as effective as possible. Then, when you arrive for your appointment, the dentist will have you recline in a dental chair. Once you're reclined, the dentist uses a separator in your mouth to keep your lips out of the way so that they don't touch your teeth while the whitening gel is in place.

As soon as your lips are out of the way, the dentist applies a layer of whitening gel to your teeth, covering them completely and evenly. You'll have to rest for almost an hour, perhaps longer if your staining is particularly heavy. Then, the dentist will rinse your mouth completely to remove the gel.

How Long Will The Whitening Last?

The length of time that the treatment will last can be unpredictable. If you eliminate all of the things in your diet and lifestyle that cause staining, your treatment will last far longer than if you leave the office and go right back to the coffee, tea, and staining foods. In some cases, you may find that your treatment can last as long as a year before you have to do it again.

For more information, contact a business such as Accent On Dentistry - Rowena R Martir DMD.