Tooth whitening is a common elective procedure and a popular aesthetic treatment for patients seeking to enhance their smile and appearance. Professionally administered (in-office) tooth whitening is one way to whiten teeth. Another common approach is at-home whitening with custom-fitted trays, which patients use to apply professional-strength bleaching gel (for use at night or during the day).
A clinical exam prior to the start of tooth bleaching procedures will be performed to determine if a patient is a good candidate for teeth whitening. A few things your dentist will take into consideration during that exam are:
- Periodontal Health: if your gums have pulled away from your teeth, whitening can be uncomfortable.
- Cavities: If you have cavities or other dental disease, your dentist will need to treat it before you begin the whitening process to help limit any side effects like tooth sensitivity.
- Existing Restorations: Only natural teeth will be affected by the bleaching agent. Restorations such as veneers, crowns, or dental fillings will not whiten.