Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Getting Your Teeth Whitened at the Mall -- Good or Bad?

Fox News in Boston ran a great segment Sunday night about those teeth whitening kiosks you find at the mall. (Reporter Maria Stephanos blogged about why they were running the story back in September.)

As far as educating consumers, the Fox team did a great job. Teeth whitening at the mall is different than what you get “chairside” from dental professional. The technicians at the mall kiosks are able to perform the procedure in about 15 minutes using soft trays coated with peroxide.

The difference between this procedure and something like the Zoom! teeth whitening procedure is that the dentist puts the peroxide solution on your teeth and monitors the procedure –- whereas at the kiosk you put the trays into your mouth yourself. This way, the technician cannot be cited for practicing dentistry without a license. And, the price at the kiosk is pretty good -- $129 versus $300 or $400 for a visit to the dentist.

The other difference is that the percentage of peroxide in the Zoom! gel is very high, much higher than what you get with many of the tray and OTC products.

As this news segment showed, teeth whitening is a very simple and safe procedure. Whitening is safe for everyone, including pregnant woman and children. The gel is a strong concentration of hydrogen peroxide, which is extremely safe; however, it can cause temporary gum irritation if it’s placed on the gum tissue.

Isolation of the tissue and lips is important, which is one reason why you want to see an experienced professional. Additionally a dental office is available for questions and guidance.

We’ve done a lot of teeth whitening in my office over the last ten years, during which time I’ve evolved with the technology and trends. I used a laser initially and now we use a UV light.

We live in a world that wants results immediately and a Zoom! procedure done in 90 minutes seems to fit my patients’ busy lifestyles. I am more than happy to provide this service, but if you are diligent and want to spend a month using the over the counter Crest White strips, you will get the same result. I give my patients this information, but most want the fast results that Zoom! provides.

Once you whiten your teeth, you have to maintain them using at home trays or white strips. If you don’t touch up your teeth about once a month within 19 months of the initial whitening, your teeth will rebound close to their original shade.

1 comment:

sam said...

nice blog on teeth whitening, teeth whitening is quite expensive, that’s why there are a lot of good alternative such as a home teeth whitening.