Medical professionals won't refuse to treat a patient when the issue is a medical one. While your teeth might be stained and discoloured, teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure. Still, it's a service that almost all dentists are able to perform. So, why would a dentist refuse to whiten your teeth?
An Adequately Healthy State
It's not as though your dentist is imposing a blanket ban on you ever receiving whitening treatment. If they say no, it's often due to the fact that your teeth are not in an adequately healthy state to benefit from the whitening. Why can this be the case?
Cavities, chips and cracks in your teeth, not to mention periodontal disease—these are amongst the complications which can result in your teeth being unsuitable for whitening treatment. What's the harm in treating teeth that might not be in such a great condition?
Whitening Unsuitable Teeth
Even though the hydrogen peroxide utilised in teeth whitening is highly potent, it's not going to effectively bleach everything it comes into contact with. Darkened spots around a cavity won't lighten all that much, and if anything, they will become far more prominent when the surrounding tooth surface has been lightened. The whitening agent can also cause extreme irritation in some cases, particularly when advanced periodontal disease is present. Does this mean that your teeth cannot be whitened?
Fixing Dental Problems
Your teeth can be whitened but only when your other dental problems have been addressed. This means that some form of restoration work will generally be applied to your teeth, whether this involves having your cavities filled or having imperfections and irregularities covered by dental bonding. Any gum-related issues will also need to be corrected.
Ready for Whitening
Once your problems have been solved, you're now a candidate for whitening treatment. However, it's still not such a straightforward matter. Your new restorations won't lighten, whereas your natural dental enamel will. Because of this, it's best to have a dentist whiten your teeth for you since this ensures that there won't be any colour discrepancy between your natural teeth and your dental restorations.
The takeaway is that teeth need to be strong and healthy before they can be whitened. For some people, this means that their existing dental issues must first be corrected before their teeth can be whitened. This is not only in your best interests in terms of the look of your smile, but it's also crucial for your overall dental health.
Contact a local cosmetic dentist to learn more about teeth whitening.