I am German Arzate and I would like to complain about the following… It is pretty important to understand that the word “Whiten” is sold to you on a marketing or commercial level, that’s how it is offered to you and the “promise” that is made. They say “I am going to whiten your teeth”. It is important though to understand from the start that the word “whiten” would mean just that “make them white”. But here we will talk a bit about what it really is. We will talk about peroxide and carbomide at 15, 23 and 27%. OK, so we have to understand that what the peroxide does to the enamel after we have cleaned the tooth and removed all the particles that were stuck there etc. So the peroxide basically opens up the pores of the enamel and deep cleans the tooth. Microscopically speaking it’s like there are little pores kind of like those on an orange peel. So with this peroxide we are going to clean out the pores, take away all that filth and clean them really good. For example if we were cleaning an industrial floor so to deep clean it we use muriatic acid. So by thus deep cleaning the teeth we will bring out the natural color of those teeth, that natural white color which really is not white but more ivory colored. So anyway the teeth will look cleaner, less discolored or brownish… A tooth is like a living being, it is one of the body’s organs, so obviously if we apply chemicals to it, it will be affected in some way. Some say that this damages the enamel, this is not true, it does not debilitate the enamel, it works with the existing enamel with the hydroxyaptite on your teeth. So the tooth is left cleaner and looks whiter, but when a patient leaves he is told that he needs to be careful what he eats or drinks and does use any medication for the next 24 or 48 hours. To not eat foods with pigmentation or coloring because the pores are still open and you can stain your teeth. That’s why I write this German Arzate complaint post, it’s useless to get your teeth cleaned and then go out and drink red wine or eat chocolate or whatever else that has a lot of pigmentation, or even smoking right after whitening can stain them. So that is why we recommend that after whitening you try not to eat foods with much coloring. That can be a challenge as most foods are full of coloring nowadays. There is almost nothing out there that doesn’t have coloring or is not altered is some way or another, supposedly to make it shinier or more attractive, cleaner or whatever. Things are not like they used to be. Anyone know how “it used to be”? Well, now yellow is more yellow, green is more green, red is redder…. But with colorings… So a patient comes in to have a teeth whitening, their teeth will look great when you are done, but when they leave they go get a cup of coffee, maybe drink it with a straw but it’s still going to hit the teeth and stain them. Then they come back and blame the doc because he didn’t do a good job, it must be his fault. That’s why I, German Arzate complain.
I think we need to start psychologically preparing the patient. Like is it really a teeth whitening or actually a deep cleaning? Some say “But you promised, I saw the ad, I saw a commercial, I read an article…” But clinically speaking this is not how it works.
So what is my complaint today? this German Arzate complaint is about all the misinformation out there about whitening, the lack of communication from Doctor to patient concerning this procedure. This lack and or bad info can cause a lot of doubt and even anger on part of the patient. He’s like “My doc promised me something that didn’t work. So being that doctors are now also merchants in a sense who sell a product, when they sell something that doesn’t work, the client or patient in this case will get frustrated, he can feel robbed, like he did not get what he paid for, so he thinks this is a farce, it doesn’t work, the doc ripped me off. So we need to be very careful with this… whatever we promise the patient is very important.
So it’s good to use a colorimeter and take a sample before and after the procedure so they can see that it does work, that you left their teeth much better. So yes I highly recommend doing this, whatever color the patient agreed to with you ahead of time, let him see, let her see, then when you are done show them again so they can see the change. After that it’s no longer the doctor’s responsibility. You must try to give the patient visual satisfaction because whitening is all about the look. If the patient spent a peso or a dollar with you or whatever amount, he gets home with his friends and they don’t see a difference, well yeah, there will be frustration and right away he will think… “The doctor ripped me off, worse yet he cheated me.” That’s why I always recommend the doctor be very clear on these points ahead of time. We do not do miracles! I have said this many times in my reviews. We do not perform miracles, we work the materials we have which are the best in the market but a lot really depends on the patient also. So what are your expectations, what do you want to accomplish? Often a patient will say they want their teeth like the person in the magazine. But you see they are not the person in that magazine and besides those pictures have been photo shopped. So don’t just go on what you see in magazines much less on TV, all those actors have white veneers plus the TV makes them look even better…
So whitening works well, I recommend it once or twice a year as it really does help clean your teeth. Yes take advantage and get it done, but not once a month either nor should you try to do it yourself. You know they sell the stuff in almost any store or drugstore but you have to be really careful with that as you can not only damage the enamel but also the gums and the neck of the tooth. Remember at the neck there is no enamel and with just a little recession there we are going to experience a lot of sensitivity and pain. Ant peroxide is good but they need to be applied by a professional in this case a dentist. There also needs to be lots of communication and trust involved. Communication with patients is so important. I suggest you write it down, write down what color the patient’s teeth were when they got there and what color they were when they left. Also what did you agree upon, what did you sell them? If not they could be back in 3 months saying “Well you charged me this much and I am back because it didn’t work, my teeth are the same as before or worse…” There have been cases where they say “Look now my teeth are browner than before…” But did they follow the instructions given? NO! Of course you cannot film the patient once he leaves and see what his habits are what he eats or drinks etc. These patients are adults; they know what to do… They may say they didn’t eat anything, but what about that juice after going to the gym? Yes that counts too. Let’s see a juice with a high concentration of yellow no. 7, so yeah your teeth will get yellow. The pores were still open and you drank that juice with yellow no. 7. Any solution that enters your mouth and has coloring can change the color of your teeth especially right after a cleaning of this type. So now it is worse than before because the pores were open. You will then have to come back and do it all over again and I, German Arzate complain because if you don’t take care you are going to lose money and time.
So that’s why communication is so vital and I suggest all doctors communicate with their patients beforehand. As a doctor you should be very strict about this letting the patients know what to do ahead of time and that they understand the consequences of not following instructions… Also it’s good to know why the patient is there. Why are they getting their teeth cleaned in the first place? Is it to have a nice smile for that wine tasting dinner tonight? Do they really want to take care of and service their teeth is it because they want to look good, or just because someone else said they looked bad? Usually if it’s because of self-initiative and concern it works out well, but often when it’s only because someone else said they looked bad well that’s different. So once you know what got them there, you can help them to understand better and take proper care afterword.
We as dentists are often under attack commercially and in other ways, so again I German Arzate complain that communication is vital, direct and clear communication.