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All the below content has been written by Dr. Sandip Sachar.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening is a very common procedure, and is the least invasive cosmetic dentistry that we do. It is a quick and inexpensive way to quickly improve the appearance of your smile.
What is teeth whitening (aka “Teeth Bleaching”)?
Teeth whitening, also known as “teeth bleaching”, is a cosmetic dental procedure that removes stains from the teeth. There are many reasons why teeth get stained over the years. Teeth whitening is a way to restore the original color of your teeth.
What causes teeth to be less white?
There are two major categories of things that cause teeth to be less white. External changes to the tooth color are due to staining. There can also be internal changes to the tooth that caused it to be discolored.
There are many things that cause staining of the teeth. The most common reasons include:
- Tobacco: cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco
- Red wine
Common reasons why a tooth may be discolored internally include:
- Medications (taken during the development of the teeth)
- Medications taken during pregnancy
- Fluorosis (by too much fluoride while the teeth of developing)
- Trauma to the teeth
- Death of the nerve within the root of the tooth
- Some diseases may cause internal discoloration
- Prior dental procedures
Note: Discoloration of the teeth that is caused by internal factors, do not respond well to teeth whitening or bleaching.
What are the different types of teeth whitening?
At Sachar Dental NYC, there are three different types of teeth whitening procedures that we do.
- In-office teeth whitening
- Take home teeth whitening with custom fitted trays
- To-go professional take-home teeth whitening kits
Of these three methods, in-office teeth whitening is by far the most effective way to whitening the teeth. Note: At Sachar Dental NYC, in-office teeth whitening also includes take-home teeth whitening with custom fitted trays for maintenance and touchups.
Is a teeth whitening procedure safe?
Teeth whitening procedures are completely safe and have been done for many years. These procedures simply remove the stains from the tooth enamel without damaging the underlying tooth structure.
How is in-office teeth whitening done?
In-office teeth whitening is done in a systematic series of steps. We always recommend having your teeth whitening procedure to be done after your regular professional teeth cleaning to ensure that there are no plaque and tartar on the teeth that will inhibit your teeth whitening procedure. We will shade match your teeth to determine their original color. This will allow us for an objective before and after comparison once your whitening is done. We will take a mold of your teeth that will be used to create custom trays in our in-office dental laboratory, that you will take-home in order to perform touch-ups and maintenance after your teeth whitening.
The tongue, gums and cheeks are next retracted in order to protect them from coming in contact with the prescription strength bleach. The bleaching gel is then applied to all the teeth surfaces that are visible. The bleaching gel application is repeated 2-3 times at 15 minute increments in order to achieve the best whitening results. A specialized light is utilized in addition to the gel. Once the gel application is complete, the retraction is removed and you will be asked to rinse your mouth. This entire process is completed and under 90 minutes.
After your procedure, your take home custom teeth whitening trays will be ready to take-home in 1-2 days. This kit will include the prescription strength bleaching gel. Detailed instructions will be given on the proper application.
How are take-home teeth whitening with custom trays done?
The next best option for teeth whitening after the in-office teeth whitening procedure, is to have take-home custom trays fabricated, and you can use prescription strength bleach to whitening your teeth at home. Note, your in-office teeth whitening procedure includes these take-home teeth whitening trays, and bleaching kit as well.
We take a mold of your teeth in our office. Your custom molded take-home teeth whitening trays will be ready in 1-2 days. You will be given the bleaching kit and specific instructions on how to perform teeth whitening at home. The bleach that you will be given is prescription strength and works significantly better than over-the-counter bleaches. Your bleaching trays are custom made to ensure that all the visible tooth surfaces are covered, and you do not damage the gums with exposure to the bleach. Your custom trays also cover more of the visible teeth on the sides than over-the-counter trays can.
How is to-go professional teeth whitening done?
For the most mildly discolored and stained teeth, we offer another option of an over-the-counter take home teeth whitening kit. Unfortunately, these will not work well for more advanced and stubborn stains of the teeth. The main difference between the over-the-counter whitening kit and the custom take-home whitening trays is that these trays are disposable and come pre-loaded with a nonprescription strength bleach.
I have porcelain veneers, can they be whitened?
Unfortunately, porcelain veneers cannot be whitened. If they become stained, they can be replaced.
What should I do if my teeth do not respond to whitening?
People who have discolored teeth due to internal changes of the tooth will not respond well to teeth whitening procedures with bleach. For these patients, we recommend covering the teeth with custom porcelain veneers in order to make them white.
What should I expect after in-office teeth whitening?
Some patients will experience mild sensitivity after the teeth whitening. This usually a self-limiting and lasts less than 24 hours. You will be given custom take-home teeth whitening trays to be used for touch-ups and maintenance.
Can I use a teeth whitener that I buy in a drug store?
Teeth whitening kits that are purchased in the pharmacy are far less effective than in-office teeth whitening, custom take-home trays, or the to-go professional take-home kits that we sell in our office. The bleach active ingredient is diluted and much weaker than prescription strength bleach. Additionally, they are not custom fitted so they do not protect your gums. Also, they do not cover all the visible surfaces of the teeth, only the front areas. If one does decide to use this type of product from the pharmacy, it is important to have a consultation with our dentists prior to performing it. In some circumstances, a prior filling or restoration will not respond to whitening and cause a discrepancy in colors.
How often should I have my teeth professionally whitened?
Teeth whitening is not permanent. The amount of time that a whitening lasts is dependent on how much the patient smokes or drinks coffee, tea or wine. Our dentists will be able to tell you how often to have your teeth professionally whitened when you come in for your scheduled checkups.
How do I maintain white teeth after a professional teeth whitening?
Avoiding things that make the teeth discolored, such as tobacco, wine, tea and coffee, is only way to preserve the white color of your teeth after professional teeth whitening. We also recommend coming in twice a year for your normal checkups and cleanings. We always recommend brushing and flossing daily.
What is the cost of teeth whitening in NYC?
- In-office professional teeth whitening, including custom fitted take-home trays and prescription strength bleach: $600
- Custom fitted take-home trays with prescription strength bleach: $350
- To-go professional teeth whitening kit: $99
Does dental insurance cover teeth whitening?
Unfortunately, dental insurance does not cover teeth whitening.
Can I use flexible spending dollars or a medical savings account for these charges?
You may be able to use your medical savings accounts or flexible
spending dollars to cover charges related to your treatment. At the
time of your service, we will provide you with all the necessary
documentation and receipts.
Do you offer payment plans for teeth whitening?
At Sachar Dental NYC, we offer interest free financing through Lending Club and Care Credit. In 15 minutes, we will let you know if you are approved for interest-free financing. These options will enable you to make payments over the next 12-18 months without any interest charged.
Why are we the best dentists in NYC for teeth whitening?
At Sachar Dental NYC, as with all of our procedures, you will notice our caring and compassionate bedside manner of our dentists and dental assistants. We always allot the proper amount of time for your appointment so you never feel rushed. Our dental assistants are highly skilled and trained above and beyond most dental assistants. All three of our dental assistants were actual dentists in their countries, prior to immigrating to United States. Their skills and knowledge are quite evident in their clinical care.
We only use teeth whitening products that we truly believe in. We have tried and tested every one of our products in our own mouths at Sachar Dental NYC. We try each of these products on our staff and dentists to ensure that they are satisfactory and produce successful results without causing excessive sensitivity of the teeth.
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