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Teeth Whitening Store Has Me in Agony.

I’m in complete agony and am too embarrassed to call my dentist. I’ve wanted to whiten my teeth for a while, but am a broke college student. So, as you can imagine, what my dentist quoted wasn’t feasible for me. I was at the mall and saw a teeth whitening store. I was curious if they’re the same price so I wandered in. The girl seemed super helpful and knowledgeable. They were half the cost of my dentist and she was even a certified teeth whitening specialist, so I felt safe doing it. I went back the next day and they used this gel and lamp. I was (and still am) in complete agony. My gums are on fire and my teeth look dark everywhere I have a filling. I feel like I need to go to the doctor about my gums, but what do I do about the fillings?


Dear Corra,

Beautiful White Teeth

Wow! Corra, what a disaster. I want to start with the pain you’re in. It sounds like they didn’t put a protective covering on your gums and it came into contact with both the whitening gel and the light. That’s a huge mistake they made. Essentially, what you have is equivalent to a sunburn on your gums. I don’t think a doctor will be able to do much. Saltwater rinses might speed the healing. Also, don’t hesitate to take some pain reliever.

You should know two things: 1. There is no such thing as a certified teeth whitening specialist. That’s likely just an in-house term they use after they teach their employees the procedure to make them sound qualified, but as you can tell they aren’t. 2. Never be embarrassed to talk to your dentist, even when you feel you’ve done something stupid. Though, in this case, it wasn’t you being stupid as much as misled. Dentists have heard it all and need to be aware of places putting patients at risk, which this mall company did with you.

Teeth Whitening and Dental Work

Another mistake this company did is not warn you about your fillings. Teeth whitening only works on natural tooth structure. That goes for whitening done with your dentist as well, though he would have informed you.

When you have visible dental work, such as porcelain crowns or fillings, etc., the surrounding tooth structures will whiten but the other work will not. Most patients go ahead with the whitening and then have their dental work replaced to match it.

After your gums have had time to heal from the trauma they’ve undergone, contact your dentist. He or she can replace your fillings with beautiful white fillings that will match the new color of your teeth. It wouldn’t hurt for you to have him look at your gums and make sure no permanent burn damage has been done.

Also, make a note to the Better Business Bureau about this place and leave a review, so other unsuspecting people aren’t injured.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. David Newkirk.