You should consult your dentist before whitening your teeth. This is advisable even if you have decided to bleach at home. Here are some reasons you should get a pre-whitening consultation with a dentist.
Dental Health Evaluation
A dental consultation gives your dentist the chance to evaluate your dental health and advise you on what to do before whitening your teeth. The evaluation is helpful since there are some dental issues that may interfere with your dental bleaching candidacy. If your teeth are hypersensitive, you have swollen gums, or you have dental cavities, you need to take care of such problems before bleaching your teeth because bleaching them in such conditions may lead to further sensitivity, discomfort, and even pain.
The dentist will also advise you on the best whitening practices. Teeth whitening is not overly complicated, but there are a few things you need to get right to enjoy the best results. For example, if you are using whitening trays, you should choose customized trays instead of over-the-counter trays. Customized trays ensure that the bleaching agent covers the entire surface of each tooth to produce even whitening. The dentist may also advise you on the best whitening products to use, considering safety and effectiveness.
Although dental bleaching is relatively safe, it does have a few complications that you should be aware of. In any form of treatment, it is good to know the benefits and potential complications so that you can make an informed decision. For example, depending on how you bleach your teeth, you might end up with sensitive teeth, sore gums, an upset stomach (if you swallow the bleach), uneven whitening, and even over-whitened teeth, among other things. The dentist will inform you of the potential complications and how you can minimize the risks.
Lastly, you may also require dental cleaning before bleaching your teeth. In fact, if your teeth are not too discolored, the cleaning alone may give you satisfactory results so that you don't have to bleach. In other cases, however, the cleaning is necessary to get rid of things that might hinder the bleaching process. Dental tartar or trapped food particles, for example, might prevent the bleach from coming into direct contact with all surfaces of your teeth.
Tell your dentist your expectations during the consultation so that they can advise you on what to expect and how to meet your expectations. Don't forget that bleaching is not the only way to whiten teeth; ask your dentist about other techniques. Contact a cosmetic dentist in your area for more information.