ARMONK, N.Y. - Teeth whitening has grown in popularity over the past 15 years and procedures have become less time consuming, according to Armonk Dentist Lucy Leone, who estimates she treats nine out of every 10 patients at her practice on Main Street, which she shares with her husband Frank Leone.
I think its really a wonderful procedure thats available and should be utilized, Lucy Leone said. Its not just about a vanity issue, its sort of like a cell phone. We have the technology, so why not put your best foot forward if it makes you feel better about yourself and your interactions with people?
The fact is, teeth whitening has become big business in this country. In 2010 alone, profits related to personal dental care in the U.S. totaled $1.6 billion, according to a report published by iData Research. And with price points for cosmetic teeth whitening ranging from $5 to $500, almost everyone can afford a whiter smile.
Leone offers chair side appointment bleaching procedures that last about two-and-a-half years and dont always require follow-up treatments but she usually gives patients take home trays, which further ensure a longer lasting bright smile.
For us in this community everybody really is concerned about their appearance, mostly because they have jobs where their appearance is important, Leone said. Its important to look your best so you feel confident about yourself, and your smile is something that everybody takes notice of.
Making sure patients are given the right level of bleaching is imperative to Leone, who reiterated that all of the procedures done in her office are totally safe.
You can go from six percent, which is a low strength, up to about maybe 23 but I dont do that, thats too much, Leone said. I usually go anywhere between 10 and 16. Its really safe and gives really nice results.
Leone also incorporates a three-step fluoride desensitizing treatment to make sure there are no negative effects from bleaching.
The general consensus is that teeth whitening products and treatments are generally safe for most people, if the instructions are followed properly. According to WebMD, the active ingredient that works to whiten your smile is "typically carbamide peroxide in various concentrationsoften 10 percent to 20 percent." Some do-it-yourself teeth whitening products even bear the American Dental Association seal of approval.
I dont see any problem with the white strips, you just have to do it repeatedly and its not going to be permanent like the chair-side but theyre very safe, Leone said. Theyre not as effective but theyre not meant to be that effective. Theyre good for teenagers because its very temporary, its a very mild dose, and it gives them the brightness thats appropriate to them.
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