Considerations to Tooth Whitening
Smoking should be stopped before teeth are bleached. Smoking can cause tissue damage on teeth and may defeat the effect of whitening. The best candidates for whitening are those with stains caused by coffee, tobacco or aging.
Whitening will not correct certain forms of discoloration. For these cases, a dentist may recommend veneers instead which cover the entire tooth. Teeth with prosthetics, bonding, tooth-colored fillings will not bleach. Individuals with yellow tones to their teeth respond best.
The degree of whiteness will vary from individual to individual depending on the condition of the teeth, nature of the stain and individual reaction to the whitening agent.
Pre-existing sensitive teeth and allergies
Individuals with sensitive teeth and gums, receding gums and/or defective restorations should consult with their dentist prior to using a tooth whitening system. Anyone allergic to peroxide (the whitening agent) should not use a bleaching product. 2/3 of these people will experience some sensitivity for 1-4 days. This is usually reversible upon termination of bleaching.
Severe gray/blue banded tetracycline staining
Guarded prognosis required. Stains in the gray family (such as from tetracycline) can be harder to remove, if not impossible. These stains can take up to six months or longer to whiten. Whitening may only reduce amounts of ‘masking’.
Discoloration in gingival third or exposed yellow
Guarded prognosis for whitening required.
Pregnant or lactating women and young children
No know adverse effects but avoid use as a precautionary measure.
May appear darker after bleaching.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
May want to consider bleaching one arch and monitor comfort before proceeding with the other
Gum disease, worn enamel, cavities, and exposed roots
Cavities and gum diseases need to be treated before undergoing any whitening procedure.
Noncompliance or unrealistic expectation
The degree of whiteness is different from one individual to another, the degree of shade change obtainable is dependent on each person’s reaction. Certain people react well while others may not be as responsive.
Extensive composite and porcelain restorations
If you have pre-existing cosmetic restoration (bonding, porcelain crowns, bridge, veneers or fillings ) they will not be bleached and you may need to replace them in order to match your new color shade.