Modern dentistry has improved and changed a great amount in the last ten to twenty years, and this has led to new treatments being available to everyone, rather than just the few rich people who could afford it. People are visiting dentists for 'cosmetic' dental treatment in the same way that they would visit a cosmetic surgeon to have their body altered or enhanced.
With more and more celebrities having cosmetic dental treatments and exhibiting perfect teeth in magazines and on television, tooth whitening is one of the dental treatments that have soared in popularity for people young and old. Other treatments include implants, veneers, and alteration of the gum line. This article looks at the different types of teeth whitening systems and will help you assess which is best for you.
There are various teeth whitening systems available, and they range from the very expensive to the relatively cheap and accessible. All teeth whitening systems fall into two main categories – those that must be carried out by a professional such as a dentist, and those that can be done at home. Home treatments are often cheaper, but can be less effective and can even cause lasting damage if applied incorrectly.
The key to selecting which tooth whitening systems is appropriate for you is to ask yourself the following questions:
Am I good at following written instructions?
What is my budget for this treatment?
Am I looking for immediate results or a course of treatment?
Am I comfortable visiting a dentist?
Do I have minor or extensive tooth staining?
Home tooth whitening systems are cheaper, but they normally use a peroxide bleach based formula and so the instructions that come with them must be followed to the letter. Otherwise, the results may not be what you expected, and the sensitivity of the teeth can be increased.
However, if you are confident about applying the treatment yourself and are prepared to finish the whole treatment without expecting instant results, home teeth whitening systems can be a cost effective way to achieve that celebrity look.
Salon or dentist based teeth whitening systems are more expensive, but can have longer lasting and more immediate effects. Dentists use similar peroxide based formulas to the home systems, but the effect is enhanced by the use of a laser. Laser whitening can make your teeth 5-6 shades lighter on the first visit by activating crystals inside a gel, but if you have extreme discoloration you may need to go back more than once.
The risks of laser teeth whitening are not great, with the most common side effect reported being increased sensitivity to hot and cold. Rubber dams are used to protect the gums when bleach based formulas are being used, and this ensures the gums are protected from the effects of the tooth whitening system.
Modern lifestyles can have a bad effect on our teeth, with drinks like coffee, tea and red wine causing staining and discoloration. Teeth whitening systems are a way to instantly reverse the effects of our lifestyle, but are no substitute for regular brushing and flossing.
Copyright © Jared Winston, 2005. All Rights Reserved.