I heard an ad on the radio for a "new" drugstore whitening system while I was treating a patient this morning. This system guaranteed 8 shades of lightening your teeth. Wow. Maybe I should buy this stuff for my patients. The whitening systems I use are much more powerful than anything you can buy in a drugstore and don't make any guarantees. I can't. Not everyone's teeth will lighten the same. Some teeth lighten very easily and others can take weeks to months of treatment to get significant results. And some of the discolorations are very difficult or impossible to lighten. For example, years ago when medical doctors prescribed Tetracycline antibiotics to kids they would end up with grey teeth. We know better now and do not prescribe these medications to children but there are lots of people with this type of discoloration. And it is very difficult to near impossible to lighten these teeth with any tooth whitening system.
But the thing that gets me the most in these ads are the way they quantify how much whitening you can expect. Look at the photo I posted here. These are shade guides I just took out of my drawer and photographed. There are 6 different shade guides One has just 8 different shades and the one at the back has 26 ( and that one has a few more add on "whitening shades" I didn't get out of the drawer too). So which yardstick are they using in the ad to measure the results?
I have no problem with anyone using these whitening systems as long as they don't have unreasonable expectations. I always tell my patients they should feel free to use over the counter whitening systems. I just know I can do a better job with a professional dental system.
Dr Steven Rosenblat
Great things start with a smile!