Whitening is one of the most common questions patients ask about in the dental office. Helping patients to determine what whitening is, when to best do it and the best time to do it and which way to whiten, are all important topics as you address whitening.
There are many reasons people want to whiten their teeth. Many patients state they choose to whiten their teeth to boost their self esteem and give them confidence. It is often thought that whiter teeth give a younger appearance. If properly prescribed, whitening can be done safely at home or as an in office procedure. Discussing with your patient about their oral health, doing an exam and performing a preventative care appointment for the patient will help to establish what type of whitening is best.
Expectations of whitening
Prior to recommending the correct whitening products for your patient, it is important to have a conversation with your patient about their personal goals and expectations after whitening. Patients should understand existing restorations will not whiten. Whitening is designed to bleach the enamel. Does your patient have anterior teeth with fillings or crowns which may be a darker shade? It’s important to talk with your patient about what to do after they whiten their teeth. Choosing not to whiten because of these materials is not necessary, but it is important the patient understands the next step in care, after they establish the brightest shade possible. It is also important to discuss with your patient about habits which created the shade they currently have. Drinking coffee, red wines, smoking and other habits and consumptions can bring the darker shade back over time. Preparing the patient with after whitening care will be crucial for maintenance.
Choosing the appropriate procedure
One of the biggest deciding factors for patients, when deciding on whether to choose in office whitening or at home whitening is time. The new in office Colgate’s Optic White Professional provides dramatically whiter teeth in 30 minutes. Many times this choice is great for those patients who may not have great structured routines and have a reason to get brighter, faster. This may be more expensive and because it is done over a short amount of period, the shade is not as controlled as whitening at home. The benefit of no liquid dam, reduces the amount of time in the office than previous in office procedures, making it a great choice for the provider/office, too. At Home Colgate Optic White Professional is also a great resource to offer your patients. It is easy to apply and easy to use. Patients can see results in as little as 5 days, which optimum results in 10 days. This is a great product for your patient who wants more control over the shade they are hoping to achieve. Both of these products can provide zero causing sensitivity to your patient. Refill pens are also available for the patient to continue whiten whether they choose in office or at home treatment.
Talking to your patient about the options available to them for whitening starts and ends with good conversations. Helping them to decide what to use and providing them with great resources to follow up will ensure your patient is happy with their results.