If you decide to have your teeth whitened, it's important that you do everything you can to maximize the longevity of your results.
Dash Teeth Whitening: It's Benefits & Cost
Dash is an in-office teeth whitening product first made available in the United States and Canada in 2009. Dash provides dentists and their patients with an affordable and easy-to-administer whitening alternative to lengthier and more expensive whitening options.
A non-light activated whitener, Dash produces varying degrees of whitening, depending on factors such as tooth anatomy, calcifications, age, teeth condition and personal oral hygiene.
Dash whitening achieves the best results on yellow and brown tooth stains. Teeth with gray shading caused by tetracycline or other medications may respond to treatment; however, whitening may be less effective on such tooth discoloration.
Keep in mind that dental crowns and other tooth-colored restorations will not whiten. To avoid a technicolor effect and maintain uniform color, tooth-colored restorations may require replacement following the whitening procedure.
What are its Benefits?
Dash features a unique 30 percent hydrogen peroxide whitening gel applied directly from a syringe onto your teeth. It also includes a special oral gel called Relief ACP containing amorphous calcium phosphate, potassium nitrate and fluoride, ingredients proven to be beneficial to teeth and for relieving sensitivity.
Consultation and Pre-Treatment Considerations
Prior to in-office whitening with Dash, your dentist will perform a thorough evaluation that includes your dental history, oral health and sensitivity issues, as well as discuss realistic expectations for whitening results.
If sensitivity is an issue, your dentist may prescribe the following prior to the whitening appointment:
- 5000 ppm (parts per million a measurement used to describe the amount of fluoride) Fluoridex Daily Defense Sensitivity Relief toothpaste, to be used twice a day for 14 days before treatment
- 600 mg of ibuprofen one hour before treatment
- For extra sensitive patients: Trays with Relief ACP, to be worn for 10 to 30 minutes prior to treatment
What's Involved in the Dash Procedure?
The Dash procedure takes about an hour. After first preparing your teeth with a regular cleaning and scrubbing, your dentist begins the procedure by retracting your lips using a cheek retractor and bite block to avoid exposing these tissues to the whitening gel. The pre-whitening shade of your teeth will be taken with a shade guide.
To further protect your gums and soft tissues, your dentist will place cotton rolls along the very top and bottom of your upper and lower gums, and gauze along the inside of your cheeks. Additionally, a face bib will be placed to further protect your lips from the whitening gel.
A liquid protector is applied to the upper and lower gum tissue and light-activated as an additional barrier to prevent exposure to the whitening gel.
To start the whitening process, your dentist applies a whitening accelerator to the teeth. The Dash whitening gel is then applied and left in place for 15 minutes. The whitening gel is removed with suction, or the tooth surface is wiped clean with gauze.
Depending on your desired results, the whitening gel may be applied and removed a total of three 15-minute cycles. The immediate post-whitening shade shift is measured using the shade guide.
If you experienced sensitivity during the treatment, your dentist may apply the Relief ACP oral care gel for 10 to 30 minutes. The gel is then removed from your teeth with suction.
For best results, do not drink or eat for approximately 30 minutes after the whitening procedure, and avoid coffee, tea, red wine and tobacco for at least two hours after the procedure.
Dash whitening isn't recommended for patients with periodontal problems, failing restorations or an unhealthy mouth. Patients with known hypersensitivity, untreated cavities, exposed root surfaces, defective restorations or oral tissue injury may be more susceptible to sensitivity.
As with all whitening procedures, Dash shouldn't be used by pregnant and lactating mothers, children younger than 13 years and people being treated for a serious illness (e.g., immune compromised, AIDS, etc.).
The Dash whitening system costs approximately $199 to $399, depending on your dentist's location and your specific needs. Dental insurance will not offset the cost of Dash whitening (because it is purely a cosmetic treatment with no oral health benefit.