Prom season often coincides with a surge in cosmetic dentistry treatments among teens, and it’s not unusual for more high-school seniors to book an appointment with a cosmetic dentist in Philadelphia as the school year draws to a close. In an interview with Connecticut TV network WSFB, University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine instructor Dr. Sarita Arteaga gives some useful advice teens would do well to heed:
Arteaga told Eyewitness News that it's important for children to wait until the inner layer of their teeth, the pulp, is fully developed before entertaining the idea of whitening. And the best way to know that is by talking to the dentist.Teenagers, therefore, need to find a reliable cosmetic dentist with considerable experience in dealing with their dental care needs—such as Dr. Gerald Regni, DMD from Philadelphia, for instance. In addition, teens need to know if they are indeed suitable candidates for teeth whitening procedures in the first place. For example, those with chipped or broken teeth are often advised to have veneers installed. Only a dentist would know the most appropriate cosmetic procedure for his or her patient.
"They can see from your x-rays where the pulp tissue is," Arteaga said. "So they can give you some recommendations on whether you'll have a lot of sensitivity."
“Teeth whitening” or “bleaching” is a catchall term for any process that aims to return the natural luster of one’s pearly whites. This can be achieved either with the help of over-the-counter whitening kits or through an in-office procedure. While the former is more affordable and accessible, the latter is infinitely more effective because it targets the enamel (i.e. the inner layer) rather than the external layer of the teeth.
In-office procedures make use of bleaching agents and lasers. An experienced Philadelphia cosmetic dentist like Dr. Regni uses these two procedures in tandem by applying whitening gel on the teeth, which is then “activated” using a harmless laser. Although teeth whitening procedures are reliable, effective, and safe, some factors (i.e. poor oral health) can make it inappropriate for some people.
Luckily, teens with less than healthy teeth can still have beautiful pearly whites in time for prom using other procedures. Those with imperfect teeth can opt for contouring and reshaping treatments, while those who previously sustained dental trauma can go for crowns or veneers. Meanwhile, poorly spaced teeth can be corrected with the help of teeth bonding procedure, which uses composite-resins for maximum durability.
Everyone wants to look good on prom night. Given the range of cosmetic dental treatments to consider, teens might want to plan their dental treatments way ahead of time.
(Source: Prom season can mean teeth whitening for teens, WFSB, March 28, 2014)