With another year upon us, many dental patients want to exhibit a more youthful appearance. Whether for the patient’s own self-confidence, a new job, or for a family member’s benefit (most often grandkids), we have seen an increase in questions about teeth whitening:
- “What kind of bleaching does TimberCrest Dental Center offer?”
- “Does my insurance cover any of the cost?”
- “How long do the effects last?”
- “Will my teeth become sensitive?”
TimberCrest Dental Center offers three different methods for getting your teeth whiter and brighter, and exhibiting a more youthful smile.
These methods range in both price and effectiveness.
- The least expensive is the Crest Professional White Strips. This is similar in process to what you find over-the-counter in the retail stores, with a few major differences: The Professional White Strips that we offer include a higher percentage (stronger) whitening solution. They cover more teeth (pre-molar to pre-molar vs. canine to canine) and include three weeks worth of strips vs. the two weeks of strips offered in over-the-counter strips
- The middle-of-the-road method is the one most people are familiar with: the custom-made tray method. With this method, we take impressions of your teeth and fit you with bleaching trays that are custom-made to fit your mouth. This reduces sensitivity to your teeth and protects your gum tissue. You also get whitening solution for approximately two weeks worth of whitening. (A single drop in each tooth portion of the custom-made tray is all you need; then wear for 1/2 hour to one hour per day. Many patients like to pop them in when showering.) You can purchase extra syringes of whitening solution whenever you feel the need for a touch-up; usually one syringe will do the trick.
- The “King Daddy” of whitening is the Deep Bleaching method – one of the most effective whitening methods ever developed. It involves three stages: first an in-office visit where we condition your teeth so they can become their brightest, and take impressions for your custom-made take home trays. Followed by two weeks of whitening at home with custom-made trays Last, we follow up with a second in-office visit – the one we call the “WOW” visit. At this in-office visit, we put the finishing touches on your whitening experience. With easy periodic home maintenance, the Deep Bleaching method is entirely permanent. While we try very hard not to say “WOW”, none of us have ever been able to refrain from expressing this sentiment. Deep Bleaching works by restoring your teeth’s ability to absorb oxygen, which in turn helps the whitening solution to be absorbed by your teeth, thus dissolving stain molecules.
Almost no insurance company will cover any of the cost for whitening as they consider this a cosmetic procedure.
Your teeth will remain white with periodic touch-ups. Each whitening session lasting a different amount of time depending on the method you use and your personal habits.
Sensitivity with the whitening methods vary as well. The least amount of sensitivity is noticed with the Deep Bleaching method, the most sensitivity with the White Strips.
If you have any questions or concerns about whitening, don’t hesitate to contact our office today!