Everyone appreciates seeing a nice smile and we all recognise that white teeth are one of the best ways to improve your smile. There are a number of reasons as to why our teeth discolour, from the ageing process to the food we consume on a daily basis. It is also true that some medications can stain our teeth and of course, smoking and drinking tea, coffee or alcohol will all have a detrimental effect on the colour of our teeth.
Tooth whitening is a popular, safe and effective way to improve your smile by lightening the existing shade of your natural teeth. Tooth whitening is a non-invasive treatment which does not involve drilling or removal of the tooth surface. however, only natural teeth will respond to tooth whitening. Crowns, Bridges, Dentures and Implants cannot be whitened.
Before you consider using a shop bought tooth whitening treatment, its best to consult your dentist and see the full range of teeth whitening products available. Whilst store bought solutions may be tempting, its often much faster and much better value to have your dentist apply a professional teeth whitening product in the clinic.
What happens when Teeth are whitened ?
The outer surface of the tooth is called ‘Enamel’. This protective layer has microscopic holes which trap everyday stains. Whitening your teeth involves applying a peroxide based compound which will penetrate the holes and removing the stains. Whne done in a dental surgery this process can be accelerated and improved by the use of UV light during the treatment.
Your dentist will arrange for you to have a consultation appointment, where your teeth and gums will examined, you can then discuss which of the tooth whitening option would be best for you.
Dental surgery whitening
When tooth whitening is carried out in the surgery your teeth will be several shades lighter in just one to two hours. There are many methods used by a dentist to achieve whiter teeth, but all the methods will follow a similar procedure. First your gums will be protected using a rubber coating, the a peroxide based gel will be applied to your teeth. This gel will begin to work upon contact with the tooth or will be activated using a light to accelerate the process. Your dentist will assess the correct time to remove the gel and the protective coating.
Whitening your teeth at home
If you don’t want to have your teeth whitened at the surgery, we can provide you with a whitening kit that contains custom made whitening trays and a peroxide based gel. To have the trays made we will first need to make a mould of your teeth.
- Home whitening can take up to 14 days to achieve your desired shade.
- An impression (mould) is taken of your teeth using special dental "putty". The putty is placed into an impression tray; they are both then inserted into your mouth and pushed onto your teeth in order to take an impression. Once the dental putty is set the impression will be removed.
- The moulds are sent to the Dental Laboratory where our technician will fabricate your custom made whitening trays.
- The peroxide gel is placed into your trays the tray is then placed onto your teeth for a period of time.
The degree of whitening will vary from person to person, and greyer teeth can take longer to respond. Tooth whitening is not permanent; the whitening process will need to be repeated every 12 – 18 months to keep your teeth at the shade you desire.