Dennis G. Sternberg, D.D.S.

Professional Tooth Whitening – Common Questions and Concerns

By Dennis Sternberg on May 03, 2010


Many patients have questions about professional tooth whitening procedures: Does it hurt? Will the results last forever? Here is a compilation of common questions and concerns for your reference.


Q. Is tooth whitening painful?

A. The procedure itself is not painful. Some patients experience increased tooth sensitivity for a couple of days following their tooth whitening session. Your dentist can give you a milder bleaching formula if this becomes a problem.


Q. I’ve had other dental work done. Can I still get my teeth whitened?

A. Yes, but be aware that tooth whitening will not change the color of your dental crowns, veneers, bonding, or fillings. Only the natural enamel will be brightened, which could cause your teeth to be different colors. If you have had dental work done on any teeth that show when you smile, share your concerns with your cosmetic dentist so that they can customize a whitening treatment for you.


Q. I have sensitive teeth. Is tooth whitening right for me?

A. Increased sensitivity is a common side effect of tooth whitening, but there are treatments geared toward patients with sensitive teeth. If you use a take-home whitening tray, ask your dentist to provide a milder bleach gel.


You might have better results with in-office whitening sessions. During these treatments, the gel stays on the tooth for only a short time, and the dentist is present to monitor your progress.


Q. How dramatic are the results?

A. Professional tooth whitening procedure can brighten your teeth by up to 10 shades. In-office treatments produce faster results than take-home systems.


Q. Will my teeth stay white after the treatment?

A. The results you get are not permanent. That is, if you use tobacco products or drink staining beverages, your tooth will become discolored again. Teeth also darken with age. However, you can make your results last for many years by practicing good oral hygiene and having a quick touch-up session when necessary.


For more information about tooth whitening, Marlboro cosmetic dentist Dr. Sternberg can answer all of your questions today.


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