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Teeth Whitening FAQ
Our patients considering teeth whitening often have questions related to safety, effectiveness, and more. Please review the questions and answers provided by our team of dentists below. Do you have additional questions? Contact us today!
Does insurance cover the cost of teeth whitening procedures?
Most insurance companies do not cover teeth whitening as they deem it a non-essential cosmetic procedure that is unrelated to the health of your teeth. Nevertheless, insurance coverage differs. Therefore, you will want to reach out to your provider to determine if the procedure is covered. We offer a variety of finance and insurance options for patients.
How long do the effects of teeth whitening last?
The effects of teeth whitening can depend on the types of food and beverages that are exposed to a patient’s teeth. If you smoke or consume red wine/coffee you will see the whitening effects fade faster. Avoiding staining agents can prolongate the need for a touch-up procedure. Typically, the results last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. However, some patients see results that last far beyond that.
Does whitening my teeth damage tooth enamel?
No. Although sensitivity may occur, whitening your teeth does not cause permanent damage to your enamel. The American Dental Association notes that irreversible tooth damage from whitening is rare.
Do teeth whiteners damage existing dental restorations?
Teeth whitening treatments have not been known to damage existing fillings. It is important to note that fillings, crowns, bonding, veneers, tooth-colored fillings, and bridges will not lighten with whitening treatment. Therefore, you may want to consider replacing pre-existing dental work to match the new tooth shade after whitening. This will give the appearance of more natural teeth. You should consult with one of our doctors to see if teeth whitening is right for you based on previous treatments.
Are there side effects of tooth whitening?
Most patients experience a degree of tooth sensitivity during/after the whitening process. This is a common occurrence and varies based on each individual. Therefore, do not be alarmed if your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold beverages and/or food. The sensitivity will typically subside within one or two days.
What causes teeth to become sensitive during this process?
Enamel is the hard outer layer of the tooth. Inside the enamel exists a softer layer called dentin, which contains nerves. When the dentin is exposed, it becomes sensitive. A protein layer must get stripped off in order to remove stains, which in turn causes pores in exposed dentin to open up. Hence, the sensitivity that is experienced.
How long should I wait before consuming food or beverages that may stain my teeth?
The first 24-48 hours after a patient receives a whitening treatment is important. We suggest trying to avoiding red wine and other dark-colored foods within this time frame. After the whitening process, teeth are more susceptible to staining. If you can’t resist your morning cup of coffee, we recommend using a straw.
How often should I get my teeth whitened?
Typically our professional whitening treatments last a year before a touchup is needed. Once again, it largely depends on how you care for your teeth and the kind of stains your teeth have.
When will I start to see results?
After one visit you will notice whiter teeth, based on our methods of whitening. However, it typically takes around 24 hours to see the full results of the initial whitening treatment.
Can I get my teeth whitened?
Whitening treatments are fitting for most people. However, based on unique situations, it is best to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists to determine if you are the right candidate for this procedure.
4220 N. Rodney Parham Rd., Suite 200
Little Rock, AR 72212
Phone: (501) 954-9900