16 Oct 2018

Bringing whitening back into your office

Cosmetic dentistry is the fastest growing trend within the dentist industry; what used to only be an occasional treatment for the wealthy is now becoming more affordable treatment for all. Teeth whitening is perhaps the biggest driver behind the increasing popularity of the cosmetic sector, and more and more people are getting the procedure no matter what the season.

However, not everyone is aware of the benefits of teeth whitening; in fact, some are still quite sceptical about the procedure. Many people still think it’s incredibly costly, damaging to teeth, or they are simply afraid that their smile will look unnatural.

Teeth whitening can not only just accelerate your business growth but also add value to the lives of your patients through increased confidence and better general dental hygiene. It’s important that you upsell the procedure to your current patients and leverage it to attract new ones. 


These are in our opinion 4 of the best and most effective ways to get patients to come to your practice for teeth whitening:

  1. Debunking patient perspectives

One of the most imperative aspects of attracting people for teeth whitening procedures is educating them about the benefits and the process itself and why teeth whitening should always be supervised by an oral Health care Professional. There are many untrue ‘myths’ out there about teeth whitening, and getting potential and current patients to understand that they are untrue is the first step.

The most common teeth whitening myths to educate people on are:  


It’s much more cost-effective to buy over-the-counter products than do professional teeth whitening:

Many people think that getting over-the-counter products is much cheaper than having whitening done professionally at their dentist. In-chair treatments do take longer and like all treatments that are customised for the individual they are a little more expensive than over-the-counter products, but that is for good reason: The treatment lasts longer, is safer and the Clinical outcome is of a higher quality. That means patients will go through the process less often to get their teeth whitened than they would with store bought products, and therefore they will save money in the long run when getting it done professionally.


It can damage enamel and cause sensitivity 

The use of unsupervised over the counter whitening products, because of their composition, can lead to over use to get the result the patient is looking for, causing enamel damage and sensitivity issues. Professional supervised teeth whitening is probably the safest, least invasive and cost-effective way for people to improve the aesthetic appeal of their smile. Professional teeth whitening is quick, efficient, repeatable in customised or preformed trays and completely safe for your patients’ teeth. 


Teeth with fillings can’t be whitened

Your patients that have fillings often think that they are unable to get teeth whitening procedures, particularly if they don’t have whitened fillings. This simply isn’t true; teeth with fillings can be treated. 


  1. Communicate; explain the risks for patients when doing over-the-counter whitening

Many people opt to do their own whitening treatments with over the counter products; this is much riskier than getting it done by an oral health care professional.

The outcome of the whitening treatment is less predictable using over the counter products and patients are less likely to achieve their desired shade change as compared to the teeth whitening treatment being supervised by an oral healthcare professional.

Explain the risks of applying over-the-counter products to your patients – store bought products can lead to over bleaching, gum damage, sensitivity pains and spillage if not done correctly and could be very detrimental to the patients overall dental health. 

Even worse: patients that decide to take the homemade method for teeth whitening such as rubbing citrus fruit on their teeth. This doesn’t just fail to remove actual stains – the acid eats away at tooth enamel – damaging the teeth and making them more yellow. Ensure your patients know of the dangers of using ineffective homemade teeth whitening products. 


  1. Outline the benefits of in-office whitening

After explaining the risks of OTC and homemade products, you then need to make your patient aware of the benefits of having an oral health professional supervise their teeth whitening. Teeth whitening prescribed and supervised by an oral healthcare professional who understands their personal oral health, who prescribes a tailor made treatment plan with customised made to measure reusable trays that will deliver realistic and repeatable results and who has available to them products, only available to the oral health care profession, to manage sensitivity issues effectively is the only option to minimise the risks of an adverse health outcome.


  1. Identify your ideal patient for in-office whitening

Patients who are impatient for a brighter whiter smile, who have been a little disorganised in their personal scheduling and need a white smile now, patients who want fast, visible results such as: brides to be and their wedding parties, business people and those patients who you are concerned will not be compliant with a take home prescription are your ideal patients.


Read our blog on how you can talk to your patients about home maintenance kits

Read our blog on whitening for tooth sensitive patients



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