Four Things to Know about Teeth Whitening Parties Before Accepting the Invitation


I received an online invitation from a friend to a teeth whitening party at a friend’s house. The entire thing is supposed to last about 4 hours. I am not sure about the company that is offering the whitening because I can’t find any information about it online. The invite looks very professional and it says that we will keep the gel on our teeth for 45 minutes to an hour and my teeth will be whiter when I leave. Is this something done that dentists are doing that you know of? It sounds like a dental house call for a group of people. The price is $145 per person, which is cheaper than what my dentist is offering. Is it safe? – Yanika

Yanika – If you received an invitation for a teeth whitening party with no clear information about the sponsor, beware.

Some Facts about Home-Based Teeth Whitening Parties

Photo of teeth whitening trays in a case, for information on DIY teeth whitening from Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

Teeth whitening trays keep gel on your teeth

A teeth whitening party lacks the ability to provide some common-sense precautions to ensure you get safe, predictable results:

  • Examination – A dentist examines your teeth in advance of teeth whitening to determine if you are a candidate for it. For some people, bleaching gel makes stains in teeth more noticeable. Others experience a lot of sensitivity. Only an examination by a dentist can anticipate the results you will get from teeth whitening.
  • Proper sanitation and monitoring – It is difficult to monitor a group of people who are getting their teeth whitened. Do you know who will be doing the whitening, and what will be used to whiten your teeth? Will the environment be sanitary for your oral health?
  • Effective whitening – Professional treatment includes customized bleaching trays to keep the gel in contact with your teeth and away from your gums. There is no way you can receive custom trays at a four-hour teeth whitening party.
  • Follow-up – Dentists schedule follow-up appointments to ensure the results are as expected and your teeth and gums are healthy. At times, more sessions are needed to ensure your teeth are as white as you want them.

If you really want your teeth whitened, we advise asking your dentist or a dentist who offers it. This is the only way you can be reasonably sure that you will receive quality treatment.


This post is sponsored by Lowell cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

Need to switch to a sedation dentist for porcelain veneers that keep coming off


After my last dental appointment, I decided that I need to switch to a sedation dentist. I’ve had my porcelain veneers for 8 months and in that time several of them have come off a total of  5 times. The first time was after 2 months of the veneers. I was eating a granny smith apple and the left front veneers loosened and came out later that day. The 2nd time the same veneer came off while I was running. I run daily, so it wasn’t anything unusual that I was doing to the veneers – just running.

The 3rd incident was eating again. I was just out to dinner with my husband and I had chicken parm—it wasn’t tough meat (how tough can chicken really be?). This time it was the right incisor veneer. My 4th incident was last month. I was washing dishes and the left incisor loosened. Last night during a belated anniversary dinner celebration with some friends the right incisor veneer loosened again.

I haven’t had time to call my dentist yet, but during the last visits, he assured me that it is normal for veneers to loosen. I should say that he thought he was assuring me. I am not sure what to do about this. In the past, I haven’t had dental anxiety, but these repeat visits are causing a lot of anxiety. I am really getting anxious about the next visit and I don’t think I can get through it without sedation. I mentioned this to my dentist on the last visit, and he refuses to give me sedation “just to put a veneer back on.” Now my concern is that I have to find a new dentist to take my case even though I think my own dentist should care enough to correct his mistake and ensure no additional veneers fall off. Am I going to be able to find a sedation dentist who is willing to take my case and also resolve this issue? Thank you. – K.L.

Photo of dental forceps holding a single porcelain veneers, from the office of accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. Szarek of Lowell, MA.

A sedation dentist who is also a cosmetic dentist can bond veneers back on

K.L. –  After so many incidents, it’s understandable that you would become anxious and ask for sedation dentistry. None of the activities you described should cause a veneer to crack, chip, or fall off. If you chewed on a pin or tried to open a bottle cap with your teeth, you would damage your veneers, but not in the situations you have described. In fact, veneers that are properly made and properly bonded should never fall off.

A Second Opinion from a Sedation Dentist Who Is Also a Cosmetic Dentist

We recommend that you seek a second opinion from an accredited cosmetic dentist who also offers sedation. He or she will examine your teeth and veneers to determine why they repeatedly fall off. You will also find out if the veneers can be removed and re-bonded, or if new veneers are needed.

Before you schedule your appointment, ensure the dentist is skilled in both sedation and cosmetic dentistry. You can call a few offices in advance to learn about the services offered.

After your second opinion, you can return to your previous dentist to request a refund. If you get resistance, you can ask your new dentist for suggestions. Further action might include contacting the dental board or consulting with a consumer rights attorney.


This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.