Candidacy for Teeth Whitening in Vero Beach, FL
While teeth whitening is the premier cosmetic dental treatment in the U.S. and is considered safe, a small number of people aren’t suitable for it. This is either due to medical reasons or because whitening is unlikely to create the patient’s desired result.
Who are the Best Candidates for Teeth Whitening?
The best candidates for teeth whitening are those with healthy teeth and gums, zero or minimal fillings, and light to medium staining. Yellow-toned stains are easier to remove and give an overall better result.
Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Kits
Teeth whitening products are available over the counter. They can cost as little as a few dollars for mouthwash or toothpaste containing chemicals that promote teeth whitening.
There are also other products, such as teeth-whitening pens and strips. These are not custom-designed and may not work for everybody. They’re also not guaranteed to give an even and good quality finish. These types of products typically cost between $20 to $50 each.
Which People Do Not Make Good Candidates for Teeth Whitening?
Those who don’t make good candidates for teeth whitening include:
People Under 16
The pulp chamber, or nerve of the tooth, is enlarged until around age 16. Teeth whitening agents could irritate it or cause it to become sensitive.
Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women
There’s not enough research on the effect of teeth whitening on unborn or breastfeeding babies. Therefore, it’s recommended that pregnant or breastfeeding women avoid teeth whitening.
Sensitivities and Allergies
Those with sensitive teeth or gums, or those with receding gums, should consult with their dentist before starting a whitening treatment. Anyone with allergies to peroxide should avoid whitening products that contain bleach.
Those with Fillings, Crowns, and Other Restorative Work
Tooth-colored fillings and resin composite material used in dental work do not whiten. Therefore, using a whitening agent across teeth that have had restorative work can leave uneven results. If possible, you should bleach your teeth ahead of any work that needs to be done. Keep in mind that this does carry its own risks, as whitening agents that leak into damaged teeth and gums can cause pain and infection. Alternatively, you can have any tooth-colored fillings replaced after the whitening process.
Those with Gum Disease, Cavities, Worn Enamel, and Exposed Roots
If whitening solutions get into any existing areas of decay, it can cause problems, including pain, irritation, and infection. Whitening will also not work on exposed roots, as they don’t have an enamel layer.
Those with Extreme or Internal Staining or Darkening
Damage to the dentin or other internal areas of the tooth can cause irreversible darkening similar to a bruise within the tooth. Whitening only works on the enamel covering, meaning it does not affect internal damage. Significant staining can be almost impossible to shift, and most patients who try teeth whitening on such stains find themselves disappointed with the overall result.
Teeth With Thin Enamel
Teeth that have eroded due to acid reflux or other conditions are impossible to whiten. They appear discolored because the dentin in the middle of the tooth has begun to show. The only solution for this type of darkening is veneers.
As with all cosmetic dentistry, we highly recommend speaking to your dentist about your suitability for teeth whitening before you commit.