Ask the Dentist

Q: What procedures are there to whiten teeth, how long does the effect last, and what negative effects can there be?

Dr. Sergei Lutov, American Medical Center:
"There are three methods: general cleanup; airflow, which is more effective; and chemical whitening, the strongest. For whitening, the effect lasts from half a year up to one year. Whitening can make teeth more sensitive to cold or hot water."

Dr. Yelena Prikule, Dentaland:
"There are several ways: by cleaning the enamel; by using airflow -- the effect depends on the natural state of the teeth. There's also Zoom 2, an American method, which can whiten teeth by up to eight tones. The effect can last two years, or five if Zoom 2-recommended toothpaste and nighttime treatment are used. Unlike other methods, Zoom 2 doesn't have any acidic components, and so doesn't harm teeth."

Dr. Dmitry Avakov, Kordis Boni Dental Clinic:
"There's airflow, nighttime gel systems -- whose effect lasts from half a year to two years depending on the teeth enamel -- and Zoom, which is best and has the least negative side effects."

Dr. Anna Selyagina, MEDI Moskva:
"Teeth-whitening is a cosmetic process that dentists don't recommend, and the results don't last forever ... from one to three years, research shows. How long it lasts depends on two things: whether the patient smokes -- in which case it's not even worth it to whiten the teeth -- and the amount of wine and staining substances consumed. There are daytime and nighttime gel applicator treatments with relatively low acidity. Daytime treatment is repeated twice daily for 30 minutes, three times a week; nighttime treatment, nightly for two weeks."

Dr. Alla Anastos, U.S. Dental Care:
"We offer home whitening and in-office whitening [Zoom]. Our home whitening service is dentist-supervised and includes the gel and custom-made trays, which are made to perfectly fit the patient's mouth and tooth structure in order to ensure even whitening. Our Zoom service is quicker and can be done within an hour at our clinic. For both, the patient needs to visit one of our qualified dentists to discuss the best options first, as Zoom is not recommended in certain circumstances, for example, for those with sensitive teeth.

"Both last up to 1 1/2 to two years and are completely safe and effective, but the patient must have a consultation with a qualified dentist before receiving any whitening treatment."