There is a misconception that you can just walk in and get teeth whitening services with no prior consultation. In fact, many people are under the conjoined misconception that teeth whitening is more of a beauty option like Botox or a spa treatment. The truth is, there are some guidelines for teeth whitening that play into if someone can have traditional whitening options done or if more complex dental options are a more ideal option. If you are considering teeth whitening, here are a few things you should know.


One of the first things your dentist will do is determine if you are eligible for teeth whitening. This does not mean you can't get teeth whitening if you don't meet the eligibility guidelines. This simply means that the dentist will determine if you are eligible for the traditional teeth whitening methods, such as laser whitening, or if you need a procedure such as dental crowns or even dentures. Some of the things the dentist may consider are if you are pregnant, if you have dental issues such as tooth loss or decay, and if you have overly sensitive teeth.

Treatment Plan

Once your dentist determines what type of teeth whitening option you are eligible for, they will then go forward with a treatment plan. The treatment plan will vary depending on the type of whitening you will have. For example, if you are having traditional teeth whitening or bleaching done, the dentist may schedule several appointments for you on a routine basis to get the shade you want and to maintain that shade. If you are having a dental procedure, such as crowns done, then they will set up the appointments associated with the crown placement and with post-procedure appointments to make sure you are healing properly.

Maintaining the Shade

There is a misconception that you can go in, choose a shade, and walk out with that shade after the whitening procedure. The truth is, it can take several visits before you have the shade that you desire and then you must return to maintain that shade. You can lengthen the time between your maintenance visits by cutting back on items that stain your teeth such as coffee and smoking. However, you will still need to have further visits in order to maintain the look you want.

Before you schedule an appointment for a whitening visit, consider a consultation with your dentist if they don't already require one. This will help the dentist determine what type of whitening you need and how to move forward. They can also check your insurance for coverage, give you price estimates, and answer any questions you may have.