We all wish for a brighter, whiter smile.
This is made possible through the process of "teeth whitening"
It removes stains and discoloration from the teeth and is achieved through a "bleaching process" which improves their colour making them look "whiter".
For heavily stained teeth a significant improvement in their appearance can be achieved by following a procedure as simple as a scale and polish from our dental hygienist.
Many cosmetic dental practices offer a combination of in-surgery immediate teeth whitening and professional take-home tooth whitening kits with custom made trays. Both procedures are based on a bleaching process which uses a peroxide based compound which varies in strength. The higher the concentration of peroxide in the compound the more powerful the bleaching compound is. However current legislation FROM THIS YEAR allows us to only use carbamide up to 18%.
For this reason we recommend the home kit til the law has been reversed.
Protecting You through the Whitening Experience
It is very important that your dentist isolates your gums and lips with a protective material in order to avoid any potential damage and burning of the soft tissue. It is for this reason that home whitening kits usually have a low concentration of peroxide so that there is less chance of any damage occurring at home. Recently ,high strength home whitening kits that can be purchased online and from certain stores have attracted media coverage with horror stories of people with badly burnt lips and gums.
Teeth whitening is a procedure that should always be carried out under the supervision of a dentist.
At Home Teeth Whitening Kits
The take home whitening kits provide more permanent results over a longer time scale whereas the in-surgery laser whitening offers immediate results. A combination of the two provides the perfect solution to both immediate and long-term whitening.
How white will my teeth look/Go?
This varies from individual to individual and also the type of whitening system used. Some people respond very well to teeth whitening and have dramatic whitening results whereas others may notice very little difference at all. Our dentist will be able to advise you on the likely results expected with your teeth.
Possible side effects of Teeth Whitening?
Some people experience no pain or sensitivity during treatment. However, the majority of people will experience some kind on sensitivity either during and / or after the initial treatment. This is usually described by patients as sporadic sharp shooting pains coming from your teeth. This usually settles down after approximately 48 hours. We may may give you a special gel or mouse to apply to your teeth to help with the sensitivity. It is advisable to avoid and hot/ cold foods or drinks within the first 48 hours of your whitening treatment.
What's best for me:- Whitening brand / System?
There are many different brands of professional teeth whitening systems each claiming to provide the best results depending on who you believe, with the most popular systems being Zoom!®, as featured on extreme makeover, Opalescence® , BriteSmile® and the latest Enlighten system. Each of the systems have their pros and cons and our dentists will be able to discuss which system would be best suited for your teeth.
How much does Teeth Whitening cost?
This depends on many different factors including:
The clinic where the whitening is performed
The teeth whitening system used
We pride ourselves on offering a top class treatment appropriate to your individual needs and offered at a price that is extremely competitive.
The Laser Tooth Whitening Experience
Before any whitening procedure the dentist or a hygienist will thoroughly clean the teeth, removing any surface stains and tartar. This procedure is commonly referred to as a scale and polish.
The next step will be for the dentist to make a record of the shade/colour of the teeth before the procedure to show the patient the difference achieved after the whitening. This is either recoded using a tooth coloured shade guide/chart or by taking a digital photograph of your teeth.
The area is then prepared for the procedure. The bleaching compound usually contains a high concentration of peroxide. The dentist will usually place some form of protection around the gums so that only the teeth are exposed to the compound. This may involve covering the gums with rolls of cotton or a protective gel material that hardens once applied to the gums.
A cheek retractor is used to keep the lips and cheeks away from the teeth. Eye protection is also provided to prevent any damage to the eyes from the laser used or any accidental splashes of the peroxide.
The whitening gel is then applied to the surface of the teeth and exposed to a light or laser for approximately 1 hour, which activates it and speeds up the whole process making the whitening more effective. Some systems do not use an activating laser and many dentists argue that the laser is not required for activation of the bleaching compound. The dentist will finally wash off the whitening gel and remove any gum protection before evaluating the final result by taking a photograph or using a shade chart. The results are usually quite dramatic. A kit for whitening at home is also provided which is supplied with custom made trays and whitening gel. The gel used in the home kits tend to have a lower concentration of peroxide (3-10%) than that used in our dental clinic.