Teeth Whitening: Is It Really Safe?

White teeth are something that a lot of people around the globe want to have, but they are not sure if they should go ahead and attain it due to being nervous about the possible adverse effects that could result from chemicals used in teeth whitening techniques.

Minor Side-Effects

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the active bleaching ingredient that is utilized in a great percentage of whitening products is carbamide peroxide. All the teeth whitening techniques that are on the market have been evaluated over the years. They have proven to provide results and be safe if used as directed. Even so, there could be minor side-effects on three areas: gums, teeth, and dental restorations.


The concentration of bleach that dentists used is usually higher than the bleach that is contained in over-the-counter methods. Dentists tend to utilize a bleaching lamp to boost the effectiveness of the bleach, allowing results to become more rapidly apparent.

If the bleach gets on the gums, irritation can occur. The potential irritation is greater when there is a higher bleach concentration present. Once the bleach is removed from the area, the irritation will begin to subside little by little.

At-home methods can be either a dentist prescribed system or an over-the-counter product. When it is a dentist prescribed system, it will consist of a mouthguard tray to hold bleach in place. Over-the-counter products consist of gels and strips.


Tooth sensitivity is also a common side effect of bleach. People who have decay, fractured structures, and broken fillings are more susceptible to suffering from tooth sensitivity when undergoing teeth whitening. To prevent this type of issue from occurring, it is recommended that you begin to utilize a toothpaste for sensitive teeth one week before your bleaching, no matter if it is going to be at the dentist or if you are going to try an over-the-counter product.


There has been a lot of talk suggesting that bleach can affect silver filling or dental amalgam, causing them to release mercury and thus being dangerous, but the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) disagrees in this aspect. They assure that bleaching does not reflect a health matter, as it has been declared that dental amalgam is benign in its content of mercury. Bleaching will destroy neither implants nor crowns. In addition, white colour fillings can slightly whiten.

It Is Best to Opt for a Dentist

Even though bleaching services are offered at salons, cruise ships, and spas, it is always best to opt to have it done in a dental office setting, as a dentist can perform an exam to know if teeth whitening treatment is a good option for you, or if there are other matters that need to be solved first before undergoing it.

Teeth whitening is not a perfect practice, but it is one that is careful, especially if you opt for dentists, as he or she can provide you with the results that you want without risking safety in any aspect.

What Should I Know About Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry deals with the appearance of the teeth and a person’s smile. This field focuses on the art of dentistry, rather than health. Improving the appearance of a person’s smile may not seem like a lot of work, but it is, attention to detail and an understanding of the anatomy of the teeth is needed. A dentist may be able to communicate with lab technicians and others. It takes years of training to perform cosmetic dentistry to meet the standards of dentistry associations.

Cosmetic Dentistry

A cosmetic dentist will provide restorative work and create a smile that is truly a work of art. These dentists usually work with a professional organization. They also need to continue their education to keep their accreditations in this field.

Difference Between Cosmetic and Restorative Practices

While both dentists can use implants and crowns, they have a different focus. A cosmetic dentist wants to make the teeth function properly and improve their beauty as well. They need to pay attention to even the smallest detail. A cosmetic dentist will focus more on the appearance of the teeth and making sure that they are perfect.

Cosmetic Dentist Consultation

What to Expect

When talking to the dentist about your smile, tell them exactly what you want to change. You can bring pictures of the way your mouth used to look or how you want it to look. You may have missing teeth or teeth that are discolored. This can be a result of a more serious issue, so a comprehensive oral exam is going to be needed. The dentist and their patient should review a plan to get from the starting point to the ending point. They will discuss treatment options and develop a plan of action.

Cosmetic Treatment

All treatments are designed to improve the way the teeth look. Some of these treatments can install function of the teeth as well. These procedures can allow a person to have white teeth and a perfect looking smile they can be proud of.

Cosmetic Dentistry Includes:

Teeth Whitening this is an excellent way to brighten a smile. There are many different products and methods. There are some at home treatments as well.

Composite Bonding – if the teeth are stained with resin or if the tooth is chipped this procedure can fix it. A little drilling of the tooth may be needed.

Porcelain and Composite Veneers- this will replace tooth enamel. The surfaces are hard, and they have the same colour as the natural tooth.

Porcelain Crowns- a crown can be placed over a tooth that is damaged. They look natural.

Porcelain Bridgework- this can be used to replace a tooth that is missing. It is attached to the tooth where the open space is.

Dental Implant- implants are made from titanium and can be used to replace the root of the tooth that is missing. It can be fitted and replace the entire tooth.

Inlays and Onlays- a filling made from porcelain or another material can be developed to match the color of the tooth. They are applied to the inside of the tooth and are known as inlays. If the filling is attached to the outside of the tooth it is the outlay.

Tooth Colored Filling – these fillings are not noticeable and are the same color as the tooth

Clear Orthodontic Aligners- adults and some teenagers prefer clear aligners over braces. These are just about invisible and cannot be noticed like the metal braces.

Cosmetic Gum Surgery- minor dental surgery can be used to reshape the gum tissue. This can be used to create a level appearance.

Tooth Contouring and Reshaping- a dentist can use a drill or now even a laser to reshape a tooth.

How to Select a Cosmetic Dentist

Before having cosmetic work done, be sure to select a dentist and make sure they are highly skilled. Also make sure they have experience performing the cosmetic procedure that you desire. A dentist should be able to provide before and after pictures of their work. They should also have clients that will provide a reference. Be sure that your dentist has taken the proper educational courses and continuing education classes to learn the proper techniques.