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Teeth Whitening Risks and Side Effects

By Bruce Wilderman on November 15, 2012

Philadelphia Teeth Whitening RisksProfessional teeth whitening is one of the safest, most effective procedures cosmetic dentistry has to offer. Philadelphia cosmetic dentist Bruce Wilderman offers three advanced whitening options at his practice: ZOOM!®, BriteSmile®, and KöR. Each of these whitening systems produces exceptional results with a minimal investment of time. In fact, you can have teeth that are multiple shades whiter in around the time of the average lunch break!

Although both in-office and at-home professional teeth whitening systems have a tremendous record of safety and efficacy, all procedures carry some risk of side effects. At our office in Philadelphia, teeth whitening risks are minimized due to Dr. Wilderman’s meticulous screening process. He will only recommend teeth whitening if he feels that it will allow you to meet your goals in a safe and effective manner. If you are not a suitable candidate for teeth whitening, he will suggest an alternative treatment that will be more appropriate for your case.

Risks and Side Effects

Teeth whitening is highly unlikely to produce any serious or lasting side effects. The most common side effects include tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. The gum irritation may be accompanied by white patches on the gums. Some patients experience sore throats after the procedure, as well. These effects usually subside after a few days. During that time, it is best to avoid hot and cold foods and liquids.

Pregnant women should not undergo teeth whitening, as it is not yet known how the chemicals used in the whitening gel could affect a fetus.

If you choose to whiten your teeth using an over-the-counter product, use caution. While most of these products will not harm your teeth if used as directed, some can actually damage the enamel of your teeth. In general, over-the-counter products are far less effective than professionally administered treatments.

Reasonable Expectations

At our office in Philadelphia, teeth whitening candidates are thoroughly educated about the procedure before they proceed with treatment. It is important that patients have reasonable expectations of the procedure and the results they can expect. Teeth whitening is most effective in treating discoloration caused by coffee, tea, soda, tobacco, and the natural effects of aging.

Patients with certain types of stains, such as those caused by tetracycline, may have less successful results. While such stains may be lightened, there is less chance that they will be removed altogether. In addition, teeth whitening will have no effect on restorations such as crowns and bridges. Many patients choose to replace outdated restorations after having their teeth whitened.

One of the most important keys to successful teeth whitening results is to have reasonable expectations from the very start.

Alternatives to Teeth Whitening

If your teeth are discolored, but you are not deemed a suitable candidate for teeth whitening, Dr. Wilderman will suggest alternative treatments. In many cases, front teeth that are extensively discolored can be concealed with natural-looking porcelain veneers, while side teeth can be covered with crowns.

To schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Wilderman, we urge you to contact our Philadelphia cosmetic dentistry practice today.

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