Your insurance provider might cover cosmetic dental services depending on if they are deemed elective or essential. Most dental insurance providers cover essential treatments that help restore or keep your mouth healthy, but you are typically on your own when it comes to elective treatments that your insurance provider does not deem necessary. Fortunately, many…
The Number of Cosmetic Dental Services Visits for Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening treatments are among the most popular cosmetic dental services used to improve the color of teeth. In-office whitening treatments should not be confused with the over-the-counter (OTC) whitening products sold at drugstores and supermarkets.
In-office whitening involves using concentrated solutions that contain whitening compounds, like hydrogen peroxide, to remove stains from teeth. These products are not sold to the public because they must be used under the supervision of a dentist.
A single in-office whitening treatment can improve the color of your teeth by up to eight hues. It can take months to get the same results using OTC products. A single whitening session is enough for many patients to make their teeth as white as they want them to be. Patients with severely stained and discolored teeth might need additional treatments to reach their desired shade of white.
What to expect when getting cosmetic dental services like teeth whitening
Teeth whitening treatments are effective on most stains, like those caused by aging, tannins, and tobacco use. Its effectiveness makes it one of the most popular cosmetic dental services.
In-office teeth whitening treatments are usually performed using a custom mouth tray. The tray is made from an impression of the patient’s teeth by technicians in a lab. The tray makes it easier for the dentist to easily coat the patient’s teeth with the whitening product and prevent it from seeping into gum tissues. Chemicals like hydrogen peroxide can irritate gum tissues if allowed to make prolonged contact with them.
The dentist will examine the patient’s teeth and gums before clearing the patient for teeth whitening treatments. Issues caused by tooth decay and gum disease are typically addressed before moving on with the whitening treatment. Whitening damaged teeth or gum structures can lead to toothaches and permanent damage being done to teeth structures.
Whitening treatments often start with the dentist cleaning the patient’s mouth. A protective gel might be rubbed onto the patient’s gum tissues to protect against the harsh whitening product. The solution is then poured into the mouth tray, and the patient bites down on it. They keep the mouth tray in their mouth for up to 90 minutes before the dentist removes it and rinses their mouth.
The patient’s teeth should be noticeably whiter at this point. A fluoride treatment might be performed afterward to protect against teeth sensitivity, the most common side effect of whitening treatments. Additional whitening treatments might be performed on later dates if the patient has severely discolored teeth. That said, about one or two additional treatments are usually enough to transform severely discolored teeth.
Life after teeth whitening
Whitening treatments will not keep a person’s teeth white forever because their teeth will still be exposed to staining things every day. Maintenance treatments can be performed when needed, as new stains build up on a person’s teeth.
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