In 1513, noted Spanish conquistador and explorer, Ponce de Leon, set out in search of a mystical spring known as the “Fountain of Youth” and while he was successful in discovering what we now know as the state of Florida, the quest in discovering a way to reverse one’s age, still continues to this day. Unlike Ponce de Leon however, the dental industry has discovered a way to reverse the appearance of aging in teeth, and for years has been restoring the smiles of patients of all ages with this method! Known as Teeth Whitening, the process is considered one of the primary components of modern cosmetic dentistry and remains a highly sought-after treatment amongst our patients at Overland Park Dentistry.
Teeth Whitening In A Nutshell
A tooth whitening is a strictly cosmetic-based procedure and, in a nutshell, could be summed up as more of a bleaching process rather than a recoloration. As a person ages, their teeth will inevitably accumulate a certain number of nicks and blemishes, due to the amount wear and tear that they sustain over the years. To remedy this, a professional whitening treatment is administered, in which your dentist applies a bleaching agent to the surface of your teeth. This process typically lasts approximately thirty minutes and for best results, may require a follow up appointment.
However, due to the growing demand for a pearly white picturesque smile, there are always many questions surrounding the whitening procedure that Dr. Kimes and his team address on a regular basis. In this article, we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions and concerns surrounding this treatment as we address these questions and provide a little more insight into the process.
Teeth Whitening FAQ: Commonly Asked Questions
Q: Is whitening your teeth safe?
A: If preformed by or under the guidance of a professional dentist, then yes, a whitening is a safe and relatively painless procedure that will produce a whiter and more attractive smile. However, over the counter (OTC) whitening products are generally not recommended by dental practitioners and have been known to cause problems amongst users in the past.
Related Article: Teeth Whitening Options: Over the Counter vs. Professional
Q: How long does a teeth whiting last?
A: The longevity of a whitening treatment may potentially last for a couple of years, however this varies depending on your lifestyle. If you are a daily smoker or do not practice proper oral hygiene habits, your newly whitened teeth can begin to fade in as little as a month. If you are a healthy nonsmoker who maintains their dental hygiene, you will probably not require another whitening treatment for a few years.
Q: Are there other ways to whiten my teeth besides a professional whitening?
A: Yes. However as mentioned earlier, the alternative to a professional tooth whitening comes in the form of name brand whitening or strips, that are not recommended by dental practitioners and have resulted in users suffering blistering or bleeding gums. Additionally, OTC whitening products are not nearly as effective as professional grade ingredients, which are required to have received the ADA Seal of Acceptance prior to being used in a professional capacity.
Check out what happens when technology and tooth whitening join forces with an at-home whitening kit that is “Dr. Kimes Approved”: No More Whitening Trays with Glo Pro Teeth Whitening
Q: Will insurance cover the cost of my teeth whitening?
A: Unfortunately, they do not. While certainly many insurance providers offer a number of great dental benefits, because a professional whitening is a cosmetic based procedure, they do not provide coverage for dental whitening treatments.
Q: Do professional whitening products damage tooth enamel?
A: Absolutely not! Professional whiting products have no harmful effects on tooth enamel, nor should they have any adverse effects on a tooth’s nerves or hinder any pre-existing dental restorations.
Q: Is there anything I can do to maintain my newly whitened smile?
A: Yes! To maintain or elongate the affects there are a number of things that you can do. Practicing proper oral hygiene habits, as well as brushing after every meal (especially after consuming sugary or acidic foods) can play a major role to help prolong the whitening affects. Additionally, avoiding acidic beverages or using a straw while consuming them will help keep the hazardous products from staining your teeth, and certainly it’s recommended to avoid tobacco use.
Restore Your Smile!
At Overland Park Dentistry, our team takes great pride in their ability to put smiles on the faces of our patients, and they can certainly do the same for you! If your beautiful smile has suffered from the affects of aging or stains, come see us at Overland Park Dentistry and let’s restore your smile together!
Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventative, restorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.