How Long Will it Last?
The whitening effects of different bleaching methods can last for a few years, but this varies from person to person. An investigation of professional "home" bleaching revealed that for people who achieved a lighter shade, only half of them still had whiter teeth six months later. Your everyday habits such as eating, drinking, smoking and toothbrushing may have an effect on how long the treatment lasts.
It's essential to remember that bleaching doesn't always bring about the whiteness that you expected. The results differ from person to person and depend on the shade of your teeth before bleaching. Hence, it is important to talk about all the possible options for improving the appearance of your teeth with your dentist before you make a decision.
Will Bleaching Damage my Teeth?
There are no proofs to suggest that tooth bleaching is harmful to the gums, but it still unknown what the long-lasting effect on the nerves and blood vessels inside the teeth are.
All dental treatment has a risk of side-effects, which are undesirable, but mostly temporary inevitability of a successful treatment. Possible side-effects comprise sensitivity of the teeth to hot and cold, a sore throat, tender gums and white patches on the gums.
These side-effects are more prone to happen during or straight away after "laser" bleaching and should vanish after a few days. Contact your dentist if the symptoms persevere.
Who Shouldn't Have Bleaching?
There are some cases when a dentist may advise that you do not have bleaching. For instance if you have decay, this should be treated before starting any whitening treatments. Likewise, your gums should be healthy, so if you have any gum disease this should be treated.
If your teeth are very sensitive to hot and cold food or drinks, or if there are lots of fracture lines on your teeth, bleaching may not be suggested.
Some types of staining (tetracycline antibiotic staining) do not respond to bleaching as well as others. Bleaching, if successful, can take longer on tetracycline stained teeth.
Bleaching won't work on false teeth, crowns, veneers or fillings (including tooth-colored fillings). As an alternative, your dentist may be able to substitute these with lighter ones.
Bleaching is not recommended for children whose teeth are still developing or for pregnant or breastfeeding women.