Teeth Whitening: Ask the Dentist

English-speaking dentist talks about one of her favorite cosmetic dental procedures

Dreaming of having a smile filled with white, shiny teeth? Overwhelmed by the number products available? Expert dentist, Dr. Madeleine Smit, founder of the multi-lingual Turó Park Dental & Medical Center in Barcelona and Dr. Furio, General Dentist at Turo Park Dental & Medical Center, tell us more about the options for teeth-whitening in this interview. They were happy to talk more about one of the quickest, affordable, and least painful cosmetic dental procedures.

Tell us Berta, is there a difference between whitening and bleaching?

“This can be very confusing. Whiteners are cleaning agents that are found in some toothpaste and mouth rinses. Bleaching ingredients, such as hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, are able to whiten teeth beyond their natural color. Bleaching removes stains from the inside of your teeth.”

Tell us Berta,Why can’t people just bleach their teeth on their own at home?

“At-home teeth bleaching trays and gels sold commercially can be helpful for some people. Remember, the stronger the bleaching solution, the faster your results. The whitening agents you buy over the counter are not as strong or effective as those sold at dentist offices. Also, we will fit trays for you, to wear at night with the bleaching solution. This customized bleaching system will give you better results, faster.”

“We can offer you even faster results if you combine an in-office bleaching treatment with this home treatment. At Turó Park Medical and Dental Center, we use a safe concentration of a bleaching solution on your upper and lower teeth combined with light, which speeds up the bleaching process. Wearing the home bleaching trays at home after the office procedure helps your teeth stay whiter and shinier longer. In fact, some studies show teeth will stay whiter for up to 10 years with the combination method!”

“Also, sometimes people with sensitive teeth find stronger bleaching solutions make their teeth and gums too painful or uncomfortable. I always recommend everyone come in to meet with one of our English-speaking dentists to talk through the options, take a full dental history, and make a personalized plan for them. Gum disease, receding gums, and existing cavities can all impact how effective whitening may be, and can sometimes cause more pain or problems.”

How long does it take to see results?

“It’s amazing, we can offer patients immediate improvement in their tooth color after only one in-office bleaching session, which usually only takes a little bit longer than an hour. That’s why I love being able to offer patients this quick and effective option, especially If they want to have a bright and shiny smile for an important, upcoming event.”

“With the at-home bleaching option, patients typically wear the bleaching trays daily for two weeks in order to achieve the best results.”

What can people do to keep their teeth looking this great after bleaching?

“Right after undergoing a bleaching treatment, I recommend my patients limit those foods and drinks known to stain teeth: tea, wine and coffee. Brushing your teeth right after all your meals can also limit future staining of your new pearly whites.”

How much does teeth bleaching cost and does insurance cover it?

“Home bleaching (including the trays and 1-2 syringes of the bleaching solution which usually last for the recommended 2 weeks of night-time wear) costs 480,00€. In-office bleaching costs 550€ for 3-4 sessions. We are able to offer the most-effective and longest-lasting combination of the combined technique for just 650,00€.”

Unfortunately, insurance policies do not usually cover esthetic procedures such as teeth whitening. Our English-speaking office staff at Turó Park will be able to check with your specific insurance company and discuss payment policies with you when you call.

What determines how well teeth bleaching works in your experience, Dr.?

“Results can depend on the condition someone’s teeth before bleaching. The better someone has cared for their teeth, the better their teeth with look after bleaching. Yes, this means regular dentist visits, brushing and flossing. Unfortunately, red wine, tea, coffee and cigarette smoking are the enemies of white, shiny teeth, so if someone is a smoker or drinks a lot of these teeth-staining beverages, we can definitely help improve their teeth’s appearance, but results may be less dramatic.”

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