As a cosmetic dentist in West Linn, our staff at Dugger Dentistry strives to provide patients with the brilliantly bright smiles they desire. After all, studies have shown that individuals with white teeth are viewed as more intelligent and attractive when compared to those with a smile that has dimmed over the years. This can increase the chance that to those with a brighter smile receive the job offer or salary increase they want, or have more success in their personal lives.
Unfortunately, not all tooth enamel features a naturally white complexion. Years of drinking tooth staining beverages like soda, coffee, tea, and wine, and lifestyle habits like smoking, can all take a seriously dim the complexion of even the healthiest of smiles.
This leads many patients to visit their cosmetic dentist in West Linn for whitening treatments designed to change the appearance of their teeth several shades lighter. Considering the personal and professional benefits teeth whitening offers, it’s not surprising that the treatment ranks as the most common cosmetic dental procedure performed by dentists in the U.S.
While teeth whitening treatments performed by Dr. Dugger safely offer results, many over-the-counter products can possess a potential risk to patients when misused. Even more troubling, certain poorly designed brands may actually damage the health of a user’s teeth.
The Risks of At-Home Whitening
Considering that a survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that 90 percent of adults believe a whiter smile makes them more attractive to the opposite sex, it’s not surprising that the teeth whitening industry is an $11 billion a year industry.
This demand for whitening products can often create situations where patients cannot afford most types of professional or over-the-counter treatments. This leads them to cheaper products online that are often made using stringent chemicals that not only strip away stains, but also damage enamel. These types of products can be especially problematic for individuals how haven’t previously whiten their teeth and who may be tempted to misuse a product as directed – such as leaving the whitening gel on their teeth for longer than instructed – hoping for faster, more compelling results.
A recent investigation by the British newspaper The Telegraph examined the stories of patients who severely damaged their oral health by using at-home whitening kits. Some of the people interviewed in the story needed skin grafts to repair the damage caused by the products. In fact, the story quotes dentists that claim, “some home teeth whitening kits available on the Internet can contain a solution of hydrogen peroxide up to 250 times stronger than the legal limit.” The dentist quoted continued by saying, “only dentists can sue the chemicals authorized for teeth whitening. What some companies are [using is] bleaches of the kind used to clean swimming pools.”
Just as you wouldn’t brush with bleach or floss with a wire, using these types of unsafe and potentially dangerous products can cause lasting damage and the need for expensive and uncomfortable treatments to correct.
The cost of a skin graft will greatly outweigh any savings you may enjoy by purchasing discounted products online.
Studies have found that 10 percent of consumers who buy teeth whitening treatments online exhibit the signs of chemical burns of gum damage. This most likely occurs due to the higher-than-legal levels of peroxide found in these products, combined with patient inexperience in properly molding their teeth to whitening trays.
Despite the risks and damage caused, companies like eBay and Amazon continue to all unlicensed vendors to sell these types of dangerous products online.
Protecting Your Oral Health
If you desire a brighter, whiter smile, our team at Dugger Dentistry can help. Our professional whitening treatments can transform the complexion of your smile several shades whiter after just one session.
If you prefer a DIY approach, ask Dr. Dugger for a recommendation regarding the type of whitening product you’re considering using at home. As a cosmetic dentist in West Linn, Dr. Dugger can provide you with the advice and instruction needed to ensure your teeth remain healthy, and that any whitening treatments is safe and successful.