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WhitePaper Blog

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Post-Whitening Sensitivity: Why it happens and how to prepare your patients

The BEYOND™ system is designed to minimize sensitivity during and after the treatment. However some patients may still have some sensitivity from the treatment. What can you do to prepare them for this and what can you recommend to help them?

Tooth sensitivity occurs when the whitening gel travels too far into the teeth during the treatment and irritates the nerves in the teeth. This is a temporary side effect, and no permanent damage is caused, but for some patients it can be extremely unpleasant and painful. Since we want to make the BEYOND™ treatment as comfortable as possible, there are several ways that you can assess a patient’s likelihood of developing sensitivity during and after the treatment and there are several recommendations that you can make on how to alleviate the sensitivity after the treatment.

The most important point is to warn the patient beforehand that they may experience sensitivity from the treatment. Patients respond better to an unpleasant situation if they are aware of the possibility of it happening and are therefore not surprised. When you are doing the pre-treatment examination, keep an eye out for several red flags. These are white spots on the teeth, cracks or chips in the tooth enamel, visible cavities, or deep grooves in the enamel surface. Any of these may increase the chance of the patient experiencing sensitivity because the integrity of the enamel has been compromised and the gel will be able to travel faster into the tooth.

If the patient tells you beforehand that they are especially prone to tooth sensitivity, then you will want to use the jar of post-treatment fluoride included with the BEYOND™ II Single-Patient Treatment Kit. Just apply it for one minute following the final whitening cycle and use dry suction to remove it. If a patient complains of sensitivity during or immediately following the treatment, you will also want to apply the fluoride to their teeth.

They can also take an over-the-counter analgesic (i.e. Ibuprofen or Tylenol). Instruct the patient to avoid any extremely hot or cold foods for the next 24 hours.

Questions about whitening in your practice?  Contact us and get answers from the source!  We're here to help you make your whitening practice profitable!

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