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?
Generally, teeth whitening is seen as non-essential to insurance companies and so is not covered under most plans. However, coverage differs by insurance company. It is best to discuss your options with your provider and find out the details of your plan as it relates to teeth whitening so there are no surprises.
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.
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, it is not. While teeth do become sensitive in the whitening process, permanent tooth damage following teeth whitening is not common.
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?
Teeth whitening treatments do not damage existing dental work. However, you may want to consider replacing your restorations in order for the shade of them to match your newly whitened teeth.
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.