Teeth whitening

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Katie and her lovely assistant do a brilliant job. Every appointment I’ve had with Katie has restored my trust and confidence in dentistry.

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Alan S

Teeth whitening

What is tooth whitening?

Tooth whitening is one of the easiest ways to enhance your teeth aesthetically. A carefully controlled concentration of a peroxide gel is applied to your teeth using specially made trays that fit in your mouth. Over a period of time, this gel will whiten your teeth. Teeth do get darker with age, so tooth whitening is an easy way to brighten your smile, without damaging your teeth.

Is tooth whitening safe?

When performed by a registered dental professional following the recommended guidelines, tooth whitening is safe and effective. The bleaching agents licensed for use by dental professionals have been tested and approved for use in dental procedures. It is illegal for anyone other than dentists or their teams to carry out tooth whitening. Whitening is effective in whitening tooth enamel but will not change the colour of restorations such as fillings, veneers, crowns or implants. Planning is required prior to whitening as further treatment after whitening may be required in order to blend natural teeth and restorations.

What are the different types of whitening?

The ingredient which whitens your teeth is hydrogen peroxide. There are 2 methods of whitening your teeth; at home, and in surgery.

Home whitening

Home whitening is as the name suggests whitening your teeth at home. You will have some custom-made trays which you fill with the whitening gel provided. Over a period of time, your teeth will whiten. You can either do ‘day-time whitening’ where you wear the trays for 45-60 minutes, or ‘night-time whitening’ where you wear the trays overnight. Your dentist will be able to advise the best option for you.

In surgery whitening

This is a process where the whitening gel is applied directly to the teeth and is activated by a bright light. The light accelerates the whitening process allowing results to be achieved faster. But because of the higher dosage the risk of sensitivity is higher. You will always need to do further whitening at home to get optimal results but means you will achieve them faster than by traditional home whitening alone.

What is the process to have your teeth whitened?

  • Initial consultation to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy and able to be whitened.
  • Impressions or digital scan to allow your personalised whitening trays to be created.
  • Fit of whitening trays and demonstration of how to use the whitening kit.
  • Whiten your teeth for an hour a day or overnight for 4-6 weeks.
  • Top up or maintain colour every few months or before a special event.

What are the side effects from tooth whitening?

The most common risk factor when whitening your teeth is that it may make your teeth sensitive to cold. This is usually transient and will fade once you have stopped the treatment. You can develop some gum irritation, but this can be minimised by the correct application of the gel within the trays. Results do not last forever; it does depend upon your habits at home. On average results will last approximately 9 months, but by topping the colour up you will be able to maintain this for much longer.