Dr Jon Blog

Default Category Image

Myth Busting Teeth Whitening

What Should You Do?

The Dilemma
So…you want whiter teeth. You’re probably asking yourself, “Where do I start?” Should I get something over the counter? What about those places in the mall? Should I talk to my dentist? Does it really work? To answer the later, yes they work, but to varying degrees. There are so many variables for the consumer to consider.

The Facts
The most important thing that I tell my patients is to have reasonable expectations. Some people’s teeth whiten better than others. Anatomy, strength of enamel, age, teeth condition, how clean they are kept, etc., all play an important role in the results of teeth whitening. The costs range from $30 into the thousands, depending on where you go. Teeth with yellow and brown stains whiten better than teeth that have grey shading. The grey discoloration is usually from Tetracycline or some other type of medication.

The Options
Over-the-Counter, Under the Budget
The good news is that over-the-counter products, the least costly of teeth whitening options, do work. I’ve seen them do an amazing job on some patients. Some would argue that they don’t fit well on teeth that are misaligned, misshapen, or crooked. The formulation of the products is similar to what we dispense in our office, but at a much lower concentration. They work; they just take longer. Not a bad way to start out—especially if cost is an issue.

Whitening…in the mall?
“Mall Whitening”- buyer beware of these types of places! They’ve managed to find a loophole in our legal system to be able to provide dental service without a board license. Dealing with LED lights (laser lights), saliva, infection control, bleaching products, etc. in the hands of an unlicensed dental person just seems wrong to me. Say what you will about this, in my humble opinion, I wouldn’t want anyone other than a licensed professional trained to deal with patients in a sterile clinical setting. These types of set-ups won’t last. They are already disappearing from the malls and other shopping venues….

Should I talk to my dentist?
Absolutely! A thorough examination and discussion will help a person decide what option is best suited for them. We offer a free consultation on anything related to smile enhancing.

What will my dentist offer me?
In our office, we use the Zoom laser whitening system and there are three whitening solutions that we offer:

  1. The first one is a disposable system that works much better than the over-the-counter system and only costs a little bit more.
  2. The middle of the road option is making custom trays with the use of a syringe whitening gel system.
  3. The high-end immediate result option is the in-office whitening procedure.

As a recap, do what works for you! It may take a few attempts to get it right. Have reasonable expectations and if you’re not sure what to do, talk to your dentist.

New Patient Special!
During the month of July & August, we are offering all new patients of record 50% off all whitening systems. This includes disposable kits, custom trays, or Zoom whitening! Call for details!

Read More
Default Category Image

Fears of Unnecessary Treatment and False Information

People are afraid to go to the dentist because they think it could result in unnecessary treatment. It’s a valid concern. My advice:

Ask Questions

The best way to get over fear is to get informed and ask lots of questions. The initial examination is perhaps the most important visit. In our office, we take time to get to know the patient and really listen to them.

See Pictures

I find it very helpful to visually show patients what is going on. With the advent of digital technology, I use a video monitor any areas of concern. This takes away the guessing or doubt of weather or not any treatment is necessary.

Find out Your Options

Hopefully we don’t find anything that needs work but if we do, I give my patients options and one of them is always to do nothing. The majority of dentists have their patients’ best interests at heart. In any profession, there are those that are more concerned with the bottom line. It’s unfortunate that this occurs but I feel that by truly doing what’s best for the patient, by building trust, and by being honest, this fear can be over come.

What should someone do if they feel they could be getting false info/advice from their dentist?

This goes for any field, but do make an attempt to ask more questions about the risk and benefits of the treatment with the doctor or the office staff. The patient ultimately has the final say in doing anything and if it doesn’t feel right, I’d definitely say get a second or even a third opinion. A relationship between a doctor and the patient is a sacred one, especially in dentistry. A trust has to be established and if it isn’t, the patient needs to find a place where they can feel comfortable.

As humans, we tend to want to fix things when they break. How does dental care differ?

Preventative Care is Crucial

Our mouths are a constantly deteriorating environment. An analogy I use is that it’s like a road that gets a lot of high traffic…it eventually wears down. Cracks and potholes develop, making for a very bumpy ride! The same thing happens in our mouths—fillings wear down, they start to leak, bacteria seeps into areas that it shouldn’t go, and teeth start to rot from the inside.

Waiting Too Long Could Means Worse Problems

The main idea with dental care is to fix something before it hurts because when it starts to hurt, it’s usually too late. When it hurts, it usually means there’s something serious going on. We want to prevent that late night emergency when no amount of pain medication helps with the pain of an infected or broken tooth. It’s an extreme visual but it’s very true and it happens more often than it should. Emergency room doctors get a tremendous amount of visits from patients for this reason.

Dental Work Does Not Last Forever

A huge misconception about dental work (fillings, crowns, veneers, root canals) is that they will last forever. Unfortunately they don’t. There’s no product or service in our society that has such a high expectation for success like dental work. On top of that, dental work, such as fillings and crowns, undergo an immense amount of torture every time our teeth come together to chew.

Preventative treatment saves time, money, and pain.

Doing anything in dentistry at an early stage saves people time, money, and helps prevent pain. Often times the pain is even emotional pain; emotional in the sense that when someone loses a tooth, he/she identifies that with getting old or not taking care of themselves. Guilt is ever present of not doing something as well. This happens especially with parents when their child needs multiple fillings or develops that not-so-fun abscess. It’s a great sign when something isn’t hurting. That usually means that it can be fixed simply versus a more complicated procedure—such as when there is a lot of pain or if the tooth is cracked or broken.

Read More

Get Your Free Consultation

Start Now