Professional Teeth Whitening

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated March 21, 2016)

I'm sure you've seen pictures of celebrities with brilliantly white teeth. You think those teeth must be altered in the photograph: no one can have teeth that white. But then you see those same celebrities on television with their teeth looking just as white as the magazine photos showed. What gives? Chances are, those celebrities you see gracing the pages of every check-out lane tabloid have gotten their teeth professionally whitened. And thankfully, professional teeth whitening isn't limited to celebrities. You can have your teeth professionally whitened as well.

Professional teeth whitening is most often done with a laser, a procedure technically called light activated teeth whitening. If you want professional teeth whitening performed on your teeth, you need to consult with your dentist. If you've been confirmed for the procedure, you'll have your teeth cleaned (not as in-depth as when you usually go to the dentist, though) and then coated with a special peroxide gel. The gel, however gross, will enable the laser (or "light activation") to achieve the best possible results.

Usually the treatment takes up to an hour, and depending on how white you want your teeth (or how stained they were to begin with) you might have to go back for subsequent treatments. Part of the magic of laser teeth whitening is that it can succeed in whitening your teeth up to ten shades of whiteness. The cost of the procedure varies, so consult your dentist as far as that goes.

There is another professional teeth whitening procedure that bleaches your teeth from the inside. This is a much less common procedure and is only performed on teeth that have had the roots and nerves replaced. Each tooth is drilled, with the bleaching agent flowed into the tooth, and the tooth being sealed off. About a week later, the filling and bleach are removed to be replaced with a color. There are also do-it-yourself kits that promise professional results. While I can't call these kits true professional teeth whitening, many can provide the results you want.

Be sure to consult your dentist on any teeth whitening procedure you want to undergo. And be aware that almost any whitening treatment will result in increased sensitivity in your teeth. The sensitivity is usually temporary, but do be prepared for sensitivity pain. And perhaps your dentist will have treatments for that sensitivity.

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