Your Cosmetic Dental OptionsThe different processes for cosmetic dental options can be very similar in steps and pricing. It’s likely the following steps will be taken when performing a teeth whitening procedure:
- Documenting the current shade of the teeth – This allows the dentist to pay attention to where the level of whitening is at and how long to go, or how far the procedure needs to be taken.
- Polishing – A gentle pumice removes plaque, debris, and surface stains. This step ensures that the whitening product has the best chance to adhere to the tooth’s surface.
- Isolating the soft surfaces of the mouth – Using gauze, retractors for the cheek, tongue, gums, and other barriers, the dentist or dental assistant will isolate the gums and soft tissues from the procedure’s potentially intense whitening agents and lights.
- The bleaching agent – Some chemicals commonly used when whitening teeth in a professional setting are hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These will be applied to the teeth to begin the process of whitening.
- Curing and activating – A laser or LED light will be shone directly onto the teeth for thirty to sixty minutes to activate and cure the product onto the surface of the teeth. The bleaching agent may be reapplied throughout the procedure.
- Rinse – The teeth are rinsed of the bleaching and whitening agents to finish the procedure. For some, sensitivity can be a side effect of teeth whitening. This can be relieved with a fluoride application by the dentist or a gel for take-home use to ease sensitivity.