Best of NYC

By Rebecca Goldberg

Most people I know have tried them. But have they seen results? And are those results what they expected?

At home teeth whitening kits are cheap in comparison to the cost of professional whitening services done by a cosmetic dentist. How do they stack up against the more costly competition?

The answer is different for everyone. It depends on your budget and degree of change needed. We turned to an expert in the field for the truth.

After 25 years in the dental field, including time spent as a former faculty member of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Steven R. Fox, D.D.S., F.IC.D, F.A.C.D., P.C., is a pioneer in the development of making formerly cumbersome tooth whitening processes attainable.

When someone looks at your face, they look at your eyes and teeth, according to Dr. Fox. This is why so many of us are willing to spend top dollar to make them look their best.

If you’re looking to whiten your teeth quickly, and noticeably, professional whitening services are the answer.
Dr. Fox stresses the simplicity of his preferred procedure, power bleaching. His process takes one hour, leaves teeth five to ten shades whiter, and can be done while watching a favorite TV show or DVD. First, a protective paste is applied to lips and gums to avoid the whitening gel from hitting them. Next, the whitening gel is slathered onto teeth, and UV machine goes to work. Slight tingling might be felt at times during the procedure.

After the whitening gel is removed, and reapplied for a total of three times, teeth are remineralized and a gloss is applied to make teeth shiny and bright. This process helps reduce the chance of tooth sensitivity. It is common to experience minor discomfort for a few days after the whitening. A couple of pain relievers should help alleviate sensitivity you may experience. It is a good idea to brush with sensitive formula toothpaste, in preparation for the procedure, and especially after.
To ensure color, custom trays are given to each client. These trays can be used every three months, for 30 minutes, to touch-up the natural fade of the initial whiteness.

The process is expensive, however, costing about $1250. At home treatments are considerably less expensive, Dr. Fox admits, but their results yield only a two shade difference, the results are not long lasting, and the process is often slightly complicated. If you are looking for near permanent results, porcelain laminates can conceal stains, as well as change the shape of the tooth. They are the best way to defeat color changes is what Dr. Fox refers to as the moving target.

Though the price sounds steep, $1500 per tooth, porcelain laminates can last approximately 12 years. Dr. Fox also provides several other dental services such as tooth-colored composite fillings, NTI-tss tension suppression systems to ease headaches and sensitive teeth, as well as Silent Nite snoring prevention tools.

To schedule an appointment, call 212.953.1544 or visit 317 Madison Avenue, Suite 1520.

Originally published October 2004
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