Professional teeth whitening can achieve excellent results and may seem like a miracle solution for many of us with stubborn stains and yellowing teeth. With professional whitening, teeth are bleached either in the dentist's chair or at home under the supervision of a dental professional. Not everyone is an ideal candidate, though. Sometimes, factors such as poor gum health or previous dental work may mean that other whitening methods are more appropriate for you.
Who can have professional whitening?
Professional whitening is appropriate for most adults with good oral health. This type of whitening usually works well for anyone with stubborn, yellowish stains. As bleaching treatments only work on natural teeth, they are not appropriate for people with fillings, crowns, veneers or dentures in the teeth or on the surfaces to be whitened, according to the Australian Dental Association. Your dental professional can tell you if you are a good candidate and also suggest the best whitening options for you.
Alternative whitening options
If you have gum disease, your dental professional may advise against professional teeth whitening as the chemicals involved can irritate your gums and increase tooth sensitivity. Instead, your dental professional will likely discuss treatment for gum disease and your dental care routine to help improve the health of your gums. Good brushing and flossing habits and regular dental checkups can help to improve the health of your gums. Even if you can’t get a professional bleaching treatment, you can still enjoy the whitening benefits of a professional clean. Once you have your gum disease under control, you may be given the green light for professional teeth whitening.
For individuals unsuitable for professional whitening as they have fillings or other restorative work to the front teeth, there are still alternatives. Your dental professional may suggest veneers or bonding to help you achieve your best smile.
Sometimes, professional bleaching may not be your best option as it’s simply not required. There could be more accessible and less expensive ways to remove your tooth stains. If you only have minor stains, a professional clean and whitening toothpaste used at home may be all you need to achieve a whiter, brighter smile.