What is the teeth whitening process like?
The teeth whitening process can vary depending on the extent of the whitening done. Some dentists offer take-home kits while others have in-office visits available for stronger whitening gels and products.
Does insurance cover teeth whitening?
In general, insurance companies consider teeth whitening within the scope of cosmetic dentistry and thus do not cover the costs associated with this service. However, every insurance company is different, and to better understand your coverage for services such as teeth whitening, it’s best if you discuss your questions with your insurance provider. Even if you provider does not cover it, our dental practice does offer financing options to help you get the teeth whitening treatment you need. Click here to see the insurance providers we work with.
How long can the results of teeth whitening last?
Many factors play into the length of time that teeth whitening lasts. For example, smokers or those who drink beverages that stain teeth, such as red wine or coffee, may not have the same long-lasting effects as those who do not smoke or drink those beverages. Results following teeth whitening can last from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the potency of the treatment. Reducing exposure to staining agents like the ones mentioned above can reduce the need to have touch-up procedures later.
How often should I have teeth whitening done?
The amount of time you should have teeth whitening done in a given period varies. In general, a touch up once per year should help you maintain your desired look.
I’ve heard that teeth whitening can damage tooth enamel. Is this true?
No, getting your teeth whitened does not damage the enamel of your teeth, although they can become more sensitive following the procedure. According to the American Dental Association, irreversible tooth damage as a result of whitening teeth is very rare.
Why do teeth become sensitive after teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening removes a protein layer from the tooth to whiten them, exposing a softer layer underneath enamel called dentin. This softer layer is packed with nerves which, after being exposed, can be sensitive for a time after teeth whitening occurs.
What are the side effects of tooth whitening?
Like with any dental treatment, there are side effects following a tooth whitening procedure. Tooth sensitivity can occur after teeth whitening happens, but it typically subsides after a few days. You may notice drinking hot or cold beverages or food causes more pain than usual. The intensity and length of time associated with tooth sensitivity after whitening varies by patient.
How soon after having teeth whitening completed will I see results?
Initial results from whitening should be immediately apparently following your appointment. You should see results from teeth whitening about 24 hours following the whitening process.
I have had other dental restorations done. Does teeth whitening damage crowns, veneers, and tooth-colored fillings?
Whitening your teeth does not damage your existing fillings, veneers, dental implants, or other dental restorations. However, you may want to consider replacing your restorations so that the shade matches your newly whitened teeth. Pre-existing dental work, therefore, may need to be replaced following whitening to give your teeth a more natural appearance. Our experienced cosmetic dentists can discuss these options with you during your consultation for teeth whitening.
How long after my teeth whitening treatment should I wait before having foods or drinks that could stain my teeth?
It is essential to wait at least 24-48 hours after your teeth whitening before having any foods or drinks (including coffee) that could stain your teeth. The teeth are more vulnerable during this time period to staining, so keep those foods and drinks at bay until at least two days following treatment to sustain your newly whitened teeth.