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Why can’t I just get my teeth whitened without a full dental exam? 3 reasons explained by a dentist who cares
Well, you can…but it’s not a good idea. To be honest, you can do a lot of things in life but it doesn’t mean you should.
In this blog, I’ll attempt to cover the most basic reasons why whitening of your teeth alone isn’t a great idea.
- Your front teeth may not be suitable for whitening. This is a major reason and has a degree of complexity which cannot be just covered in this blog. Basically though, if your front teeth have fillings or previous crowns/veneers or even if the enamel of the tooth looks a certain way, then you may not be suitable for whitening! Sure! You can still go ahead and whiten your teeth but the effect may be nil or negligible. This isn’t a problem for us personally but it would seem that it’s a waste of your own time and money.
- If your front teeth have decay, which of course will be picked up by a reasonably caring dentist prior to your whitening (or at least they should!), then whitening will whiten the teeth but it won’t necessary stop the cavities from growing. Eventually, the cavities will grow and eat into the teeth so although you might have whiter teeth, they’ll have holes/gaps in them or develop staining which will be counter-intuitive to the whitening.
- This may be the practical, real-life side of me coming out but wouldn’t you rather spend your money on the functional problems that are likely to affect your ability to chew and eat without pain? Yes I agree aesthetics and cosmetics are important issues to a lot of patients, especially in this “social media” generation of ours. However simply speaking, one small in a hole can progress to a full-blown cavity which grows into the pulp canal space of a tooth, rendering the need for root canal therapy on the tooth (and most often a dental crown/cap) which can be an expensive exercise. Wouldn’t you rather just spend the money you want on whitening on fixing the holes before you whiten your teeth? The same could be said for gum disease but that’s probably a more extended topic of conversation for another day.
Always concerned with your dental health,
Dr. Rahul Reddy