Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Tooth Whitening

Is Professional Tooth Whitening Safe?

According to the lastest scientific findings it damages neither teeth and gums nor existing fillings you may have.


Is Tooth Whitening Suitable for Everybody?

No. Always consult your dentist. Certain groups of people such as infants, pregnant women and nursing mothers must not be treated. Regardless of whether having in-office teeth whitening or at home bleaching kits, always consult your dentist as to whether tooth whitening is suitable for your case.

Goto section on Considerations for Tooth Whitening


How Long does the Treatment Take?

For in-office tooth whitening treatments, the whitening process is normally completed one hour. Additional timings of about half hour prior to the start of the whitening process may be left for checkup, consultation, advise, instructional care or teeth polishing, cleaning, scaling prior to the start of the teeth whitening treatment procedure. Thus a total timing of about one and half hours is recommended in complete the teeth whitening process.


How long does Professional Tooth Whitening last?

Tooth Whitening is not permanent. People who expose their teeth to foods and beverages that cause staining may see the whiteness start to fade in as little as 1 month. Those who avoid foods and beverages that stain may be able to wait one year or longer. Smoking habits, age and dental hygiene strongly influence the duration of the bleaching effect.


The degree of whiteness will vary from individual to individual depending on the condition of the teeth, nature of the stain, the type of bleaching system used and for how long.


Do I have to Consult my Dentist in any case?

Yes. Your dentist can examine and work out the right dosage and treatment schedule as well as whether teeth whitening treatment is suited for your case and addresses your concerns.


What kind of Tooth Whitening Results can be Expected with professional teeth whitening treatments?

The vast majority of cases teeth whitening with peroxide-based whiteners will produce results. The level of whitening obtained from the professional bleaching treatments is similar in nature to those results you could achieve with a tray-based at-home teeth whitening system. The big advantage of professional whitening treatments is not the degree of lightening but the fact that you will experience the whitening effect immediately.


How many Professional Tooth Whitening Treatments will a Person need?

Sometimes dentists and/or the manufacturers of professional teeth whitening systems advertise their products as "one visit, one hour" type teeth whitening. One hour of professional in-office teeth bleaching treatment would be expected to provide a color change in a person's teeth.


However, the other side of this discussion is that there has been reports in dental literature that the average number of professional whitening treatments needed to "make the patients happy" was three.


When determining if professional teeth bleaching treatments are the best whitening option for you, you should take into consideration that more than one whitening treatment might be needed. These extra appointments will require further time commitment and cost on your part.


Why are some Professional Tooth Whitening Systems followed up with an At-home Whitener as well?

The protocol for some professional teeth whitening systems includes both in-office and at-home whitening treatments. This is because:

  1. Some of the immediate tooth color change achieved by professional teeth whitening treatments may actually be due to a dehydration effect.
  2. It can often take between two and six in-office bleaching treatments before a patient is satisfied with the degree of whitening that has been achieved.

The dentist / whitening product manufacturer is relying on the in-office bleaching treatment to provide a quick and noticeable color change. The at-home teeth whitening treatments the patient performs on their own helps to compensate for the short-term color relapse due to the loss of the tooth dehydration effect. Additionally, the at-home treatments take the total whitening effect possible for that person from using peroxide-based whiteners to its endpoint.


Professional teeth whitening treatments are characteristically performed on those teeth towards the front of a person's mouth. An important step associated with the safety of professional teeth whitening treatments is that the dentist isolates the teeth being bleached so that the whitener does not come into contact with the patient's soft tissues (gums, cheeks, and lips). This isolation is much more difficult to achieve with back teeth than with front teeth and this is why back teeth are often not treated during professional teeth whitening sessions.


There can be instances where a person's back teeth (especially their upper molars) do show prominently when they smile yet these teeth have not included in the whitening process. If this is the case the overall appearance of the patient's smile may not meet their expectations. Following the in-office whitening process with an at-home teeth whitening system can provide a means by which to lighten the back teeth so their coloration blends in and matches with the new shade of the anterior teeth. You will need to ask your dentist if there is an additional cost for the at-home teeth whitening products.


What is the Difference between an Over-the counter Whitening Products and Dentists' Supervised Whitening Products?

There are differences between the two, include:

  1. Strength of bleaching agent. Over-the-counter home use products and dentist-supervised at-home products usually contain a lower strength-bleaching agent.
  2. Mouthpiece trays. With dentist-supervised at-home bleaching products, your dentist takes an impression of your teeth for a custom-made mouthpiece tray to exactly fit your teeth. This customization allows for maximum contact between the whitening gel and the teeth. Over-the-counter whitening products contain a free size mouthpiece tray that may be ill-fitting. This can irritate the gum and soft tissue. With in-office procedures, the bleaching agent is applied directly to the teeth.
  3. Additional protective measures. In the office setting, your dentist will apply either a gel to the gum tissue prior to treatment to protect your gums and oral cavity from the effects of the bleaching. Over-the-counter products don't provide these extra protective measures.
  4. Costs. Over-the-counter bleaching systems are a less expensive option.
  5. Supervised vs. unsupervised process. For a dentist supervised at-home bleaching, an oral examination is performed and your medical history is considered. This helps determine how your teeth became discolored and if bleaching is an appropriate course of treatment.

Source taken from VivaDent, and


Related Information to Teeth Whitening

Goto section on Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Teeth Whitening
Goto section on Home Bleaching
Goto section on Zoom Tooth Whitening and Laser Tooth Whitening
Goto section on Tooth Whitening Fees
Goto website on Tooth Whitening in Bangkok