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Is it Worth Getting Your Teeth Professionally Whitened?

There’s nothing wrong with being mindful and proud of your appearance, because if you look better, you feel better in yourself; and if you feel better that often carries over into the rest of your life in terms of confidence and even professional success. One of the easiest ways to improve or enhance your appearance is teeth whitening. New York is full of people who have had this simple procedure and are reaping the rewards of having a bright, white and healthy smile – and after all, when you’re in the Big Apple, that’s important!

teeth whitening New York

The process itself is simple, but this is one area where you really shouldn’t be tempted to go down the DIY route. You wouldn’t trust taking care of any other part of your physical health to anyone but a doctor or medical expert, so the same goes for anything to do with your dental health. Just because this is a cosmetic procedure doesn’t make it any less important to ensure you’re in the hands of the experts – not only will it ensure a good job, you’ll also be able to relax, safe in the knowledge that your teeth are in the best possible hands. 

That said, even though some people may be slightly apprehensive about teeth whitening, New York is actually one of the best places to have it done – and that’s because here at SmileArts we have many years of experience in this exact procedure. (We’re not known as one of the best dentists in New York for nothing!)

If you’re thinking about having this simple, but highly effective procedure done, the following information will give you a much better idea as to what it entails and what you can expect. Because as we say: an educated client is the best client.

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Types of professional whitening procedures

Let’s start with the two different ways you can undergo professional teeth whitening. New York is home to some of the best dental practices in the country (including, of course, SmileArts) – so there’s absolutely no need to follow that temptation to buy a cheap kit off the internet and try to go it alone. Your teeth are one of your most important and visible physical attributes, so give them the respect they deserve by visiting an experienced dental practice. 

teeth whitening New York
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In-Office Teeth Whitening

Here at Smile Arts of NY, the most common scenario is for clients to make an appointment where, firstly, everything about the procedure will be explained and there’ll be an opportunity to ask questions. The dentist will also examine your teeth and gums to make sure you’re a suitable candidate. To complete the process in-practice we usually require three 15-minute sessions in which a fresh layer of whitening gel is applied to your teeth by the dentist each time, as the old gel is removed. Results are instantaneous.

Custom teeth whitening trays for home use 

For those clients who suffer from extreme teeth sensitivity, we will often recommend the alternative treatment, which is the gentler option of using a custom tray for home use. This will not do any damage to the enamel (a danger with over-the-counter products) and is proven to be effective. Doing the process this way can take anything from days to a few weeks and you’ll be advised the duration for which to use them for optimal teeth whitening. (New York dentists will give you complete instructions as to their use – and if they aren’t prepared to do this, you’ve chosen the wrong place!) In some cases you’ll use them overnight and others for a few hours daily.

What makes professional whitening different?

While it may seem obvious (given what we’ve already told you) that going to a professional is the right thing to do, there are many more reasons this is the case that you might not immediately be aware of. Apart from feeling comfortable and confident visiting a clean, modern dental office, the following aspects are also very important. 

Dental supervision – pre-treatment assessment

Top of the list is the pre-treatment assessment that you’ll receive. The importance of this really can’t be overstated because you can and will have questions, and you can’t get a response from the side of a box or an untrained salesperson. You’ll receive a thorough examination to make sure there are no existing problems and that you’re an appropriate candidate for the treatment. This is particularly important if you have existing crowns or veneers as these will not change color. 

Stronger whitening agents

In-practice treatments use much stronger whitening agents, meaning the concentration in the gel is much higher. Because of this, sensitivity can be a temporary problem for some patients – hence the importance of supervision, so this can be managed.

Faster results

Due to the higher concentration of agent in the gel, results are much faster and you’ll be able to see the difference instantaneously. 

Use of latest technology

When it comes to teeth whitening, New York’s finest dentists have access to the latest technology. Here at SmileArts we’re proud to use the most up-to-date cutting edge products, knowledge and technology for our patients, and our professional service provides the most efficient, pain-free and comfortable experience.

Who should get professional whitening?

wedding teeth whitening

There are so many people who could benefit from teeth whitening. New York residents are lucky to have access to some of the best dentists around, so for anyone who thinks it might be for them, the opportunity is readily available. 

There are myriad reasons a person’s teeth can become discoloured, including from medication, smoking, food and drink, age or even trauma. Other people may simply wish to enhance their appearance by getting a better looking smile. 

Having white, healthy-looking teeth can do wonders for a person’s confidence, and it can even help project a better impression when it comes to finding employment in certain look-oriented careers – such as acting, modelling, influencing or presenting. Pre-wedding treatments are also very common – because being the centre of attention on the biggest day of your life can be daunting if you’re less than confident about your smile. 

Some of the reasons that might make you ineligible for the process are:

  • Receding gums or gum sensitivity 
  • Brown/grey stains (as opposed to yellow, which respond well)
  • Caps, crowns or tooth-colored fillings

Even so, in many cases an alternative option may be offered by a dentist.

Really, most people can be a good candidate for the process (bearing in mind the above) – the one caveat to that is that it is not suitable for pregnant women. While it is completely safe when carried out by a professional dentist, it is an elective cosmetic procedure, which doctors don’t recommend for pregnant women.

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Possible Side effects Of Teeth Whitening

As mentioned above, this is an extremely safe, proven cosmetic dental procedure, however in the case of some patients, tooth sensitivity can be a concern. To give you an idea, here at SmileArts, more than 90% of clients complete their treatment. The three sessions we commonly recommend may not be for everyone, though – which is exactly why we supervise so closely at all points. To delve into some facts and figures a little deeper, we conducted a survey (of 250 patients) and found the following:

  • 89% reported no (or very slight) sensitivity
  • 9% reported some discomfort or sensitivity
  • 2% reported severe discomfort for the first 24 hours


In cases of any discomfort we provide pain relief in the form of a paste treatment and then recommend Ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory medication. 

The other ‘side effect’ to be aware of is that any white spots on teeth will become more noticeable. Most of us have some spots on our teeth, even if we don’t notice them, so these will be pointed out in the initial examination. Naturally, when the rest of the tooth is whitened the spot will become more prominent. They do tend to fade into the rest after a few days, but you should be aware that this may occur.

While not a side-effect as such, it’s also important to understand that for the first 48 hours after treatment, teeth are prone to absorb stains more readily, as the pores in the enamel are open. You’ll be advised of what kind of food and drink to avoid for this period so that you don’t risk undoing the good work of teeth whitening. New York’s famous pizza, coffee and red wine will be off the menu – but just for a few days!

For How long do teeth whitening results last?

This is one of those things that will vary from person to person. It’s impossible to predict the longevity of results with such factors in play as lifestyle and diet, but generally speaking the effects will last from six months up to three years. That being said, you can certainly help extend the life of the effects of teeth whitening. New York dentists will be able to advise more on this in person, but generally, the following are things that should be avoided, kept to a minimum, or at the very least you should get into the habit of rinsing your mouth afterwards:

  • Food that obviously stains, like red berries and beetroot
  • Coffee, tea and red wine
  • Smoking

As you can see just by this short list, some amount of staining is unavoidable simply by nature of our lifestyle so be aware that the whitening process will remove stains but NOT repel future ones. We’re definitely not advocating cutting these pleasures (except maybe smoking!) out of your life entirely. Just imbibe in moderation and make sure you practise excellent dental hygiene – which means brushing twice a day and flossing.

Of course, professional treatments have the capacity to give a much longer lasting effect than the over-the-counter ones.

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Limitations of over-the-counter Teeth Whitening products

There is a seemingly endless supply of over-the-counter products that make myriad promises. But from toothpastes and mouthwashes to strips and pens, the one thing you can be sure they all have in common is that they have quite substantial limitations.

The most obvious of these is that they are much less effective than professional treatments carried out by a dentist. We mentioned earlier that the strength of the whitening treatment is far less concentrated in DIY products, which means the time frame to achieve results is extended and, even then, not as successful. In many cases it can take up to three months using mouthwash or toothpaste before you’ll be able to notice a difference. 

Whitening strips are one of the most effective over-the-counter methods (particularly if used with LED accelerator lights), however not only can they be difficult to use if teeth aren’t straight, if used in the wrong way they can actually cause damage to the enamel or gums.

Because of the time and effort required to persevere with these over-the-counter products, many people give up before optimal results can be achieved.

Risks of DIY Teeth whitening

When it comes to teeth whitening, New York dentists agree it’s one of the safest and most effective cosmetic dental treatments available. But remember we said at the beginning an informed patient is the best patient? At SmileArts we believe in being completely transparent with all our services, so we advise all our patients that due to the active ingredients in the whitening gel there are some risks involved. (Again, our pre-treatment consultation will cover all of this.)

Some of the risks you should be aware of are:

It can cause harm to gums and/or enamel

Peroxide can cause temporary sensitivity or discomfort and, in some cases, more serious issues such as burns or whitening. While research is not entirely conclusive, the gels may possibly cause damage to the enamel, in the form of grooves or thinning if strong abrasives or bleaching solutions are used. The solutions can also, on occasion, cause gastrointestinal irritation if ingested accidentally. All of these are far less likely to happen in a professional situation. 

It can aggravate pre-existing dental issues

If there is an existing problem with a tooth, for example a cavity or crack, the gel can cause pain and inflammation. In extreme cases in deep cavities, the solution can seep down to the root, necessitating a root canal treatment.

We believe every single person deserves to be able to enjoy the benefits of having a perfect smile and one of the easiest and most effective ways of getting this is through professional teeth whitening. New York residents have been trusting SmileArts with their dental care for many years and this is one of our most common cosmetic procedures. We’ve carried out literally thousands and you only have to read our testimonials to see how many happy customers we have. If you think this simple, life-enhancing procedure is for you, don’t hesitate to contact us. One of our friendly and helpful staff will talk you through the process and make you an appointment and you’ll be smiling with confidence in no time.