Finally, there have been some cases suggesting bleach can affect dental amalgam – or silver fillings – causing them to release mercury. Although many practices have chosen to discontinue this type of restoration, the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) assures that it is not a real health issue. Not only is dental amalgam benign in its mercury content, but the bleach will not destroy other dental restorations like crowns and implants. There is also no professional concern over its effect on white color fillings; in fact, they may slightly whiten themselves.
Many non-dental professionals are offering bleaching services in settings such as at spas, salons and cruise ships. The reason it's safest in the dental office, however, is because your dentist will conduct an exam before performing or prescribing a teeth whitening treatment. He or she will make sure there are no broken teeth or decayed teeth, as well. Next, if your teeth are naturally sensitive, the dentist may treat them with a high concentration of fluoride several days before bleaching.
Is teeth whitening safe? It isn't always a perfect practice, but it is certainly a careful one. Therefore, you may be advised to take ibuprofen after your bleaching visit to counteract any subsequent irritation. So put your smile in the hands of your dentist, and your teeth whitening will be exactly to your liking.
About the author: James Burke Fine, DMD, is Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Programs, Professor of Clinical Dentistry, and Director of Post Graduate Periodontics at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, New York. He has been a principal investigator or co-investigator in funded research projects and has authored or co-authored numerous articles, chapters, and abstracts in the literature regarding periodontal disease, including co-authoring the text Clinical Guide to Periodontics. In addition, Fine has presented at invited lectures and seminars. He maintains a practice limited to periodontics in Hoboken, NJ, and in the faculty practice at Columbia University.