Friday, 8 August 2008

Cosmetic Dentistry - Leading the Way to the Land of Pearly Whitedom

Pearly white teeth, is there such thing? If there is, it might well be rare, not to mention expensive. Decades ago, having pearly whites seemed far-fetched, particularly when you missed one too many tooth brushing sessions in your child and adolescent years. But thanks to cosmetic dentistry the years unwittingly spent gradually staining one's teeth can now be reversed.

In a society where everyone is basically struggling to look their best, possessing brilliant white teeth is of paramount importance. There exist a variety of products and procedures that will hopefully brighten one's smile, here are some of them:


Bleaching involves a chemical process aimed to whiten an individual's teeth. Sessions may be done in a clinic conducted by a licensed professional or performed individually by patients in their respective homes. The latter is often preferred for the sole purpose of convenience.

But before embarking into your home whitening sessions, you dentist will first create a tray molded specifically for your teeth. Sessions may last for 2 to 3 weeks at 3 to 4 hours each day. Though there are individuals who wear their trays with the whitening solution overnight while they sleep. However, it would be better if you just follow what your dentist instructs you. Their knowledge regarding cosmetic dentistry outweighs DIY whitening sessions anytime, any day. The fees attached to bleaching procedures may set you back around $500.

Laser Whitening

This is the most expensive yet most effective and fastest method. In here, a translucent gel will be applied on the teeth and exposed to a laser light. This laser, in turn, will activate the crystals, which will then absorb the energy emanating from the light to permeate the enamel on the teeth. The time that the teeth have to be exposed to laser light would depend on the degree of staining and the individual's desired result. As for the cost, well, expect to cough up at least a thousand dollars.

Over-the-Counter Kits

The problem here is that the consumers have little knowledge regarding the ideal products that must be purchased. Note that most whitening agents found in your local pharmacy, which can be obtained without any prescription, may contain lower level of bleach concentration as compared to that used by professionals practicing cosmetic dentistry. Majority of over the counter whiteners/bleaches have a mere concentration of 10% carbamide peroxide, as against the 35% concentration which can be solely acquired with a dentist's prescription.

The Time Frame

The effects of home whitening sessions are supposed to manifest after a couple weeks, though this will highly depend on the bleach being used. As mentioned earlier, bleaches dispensed by professionals are stronger and more concentrated. Therefore, results will be visible in a shorter amount of time. Some of them even show signs of whitening after only a few hours. This is just one of the wonders of cosmetic dentistry.


Over-the-counter items are relatively affordable. There are even teeth whitening products selling for less than fifty bucks. If you prefer quantity over quality, then you might choose this option. Admittedly, the initial cost of a professional's work may sting your pocket. But this will prove its worth in the long run.


Teeth whitening procedures are not permanent. However, it can last for one to two years, probably even more. It will depend on the cosmetic dentistry procedure undertaken and, of course, one's personal habits.

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