Teeth whitening is a very popular cosmetic treatment that can enhance your smile and the overall aesthetics of your teeth. It is important to see a dental healthcare professional if you are interested in whitening your teeth as we will be able to ensure your teeth are healthy enough to be whitened. If you have any dental problems then these will need to be treated in the first instance (cavities etc). We will examine your teeth in the dental assessment to ensure they are healthy to be whitened.
Why Would I Want To Whiten My Teeth?
If you are not happy with the color or shade of your teeth, then whitening may be an ideal treatment for you. The traditional way to whiten teeth is through the use of custom made teeth whitening trays that are molded specifically for your teeth. A safe to use whitening bleach (hydrogen peroxide) is carefully entered into the teeth tips of the tray (we will show you the technique) and then the tray are worn for a period of time. Our dentists will advise you on the best practices for whitening teeth to ensure you get the best results possible and in a safe and controlled manner. The best part of this system is the fact you can whiten your teeth while you are watching TV in the evening!
Is Whitening Safe?
Yes. The dental industry is heavily regulated and we are only able to offer treatments in adherence to these strict regulations. The gels available have been tested and proven to be safe to use for the purpose of whitening teeth. The gel works by breaking down the "active ingredient" (peroxide), which allows oxygen to enter the enamel of the tooth and in turn lighten them.
Can I Use Over The Counter Whitening Kits?
We wouldn't recommend using an over the counter product or seeing anyone other than a dental professional to whiten your teeth. The dental regulations are put in place to protect patients and to ensure your healthcare is regulated. By seeing someone who isn't registered with the general dental council, you will not have the same protection and could be putting yourself at risk. The main problem being is if you have an ongoing issue with your teeth that is not diagnosed prior to over the counter whitening, it may cause further issues (which can lead to pain etc).
The first step is for us to take an impression off your mouth. We will use a putty material with trays that are inserted into your mouth. The putty will mould around your teeth and after a few minutes the material will set, given us a replica of your teeth. These impressions are then sent off to a dental laboratory where they will fabricate your custom made trays. There is usually a couple weeks between impressions and the trays arriving back at the practice.
Having well fitting trays is important, especially to achieve the results you desire. They will allow the whitening gel to sit in the right positions and give you the full contact, evenly, on all of your teeth. Trays that don’t quite fit can leave teeth underexposed and it will be harder to achieve the shade you want.
One of our friendly team members will issue you with your whitening kit and show you how to use them when your at home. We will advise you on how long to wear them for (some systems vary), over roughly a two week period. We will book you in for a review to assess your teeth, and see if more whitening gel is required to get to the desired shade.
What To Expect
Teeth whitening is a perfectly safe procedure when prescribed by a dentist. It is safe as previously mentioned, but during the treatment you may experience:
- Teeth sensitivity
- Gum irritation
We always advise our patients that when you whiten your teeth we would recommend to use a specific sensitivity toothpaste, in case you do experience tooth sensitivity during the treatment. Gum irritation is normally the result of too much gel being put into the trays, causing it to seap out the top of the trays and onto the gums. This will not cause any long term damage to the gums, but may cause initial irritation. Less is more when whitening your teeth, and only a drop of gel is needed in each segment of the trays.
If you are interested in exploring your whitening options please do not hesitate to call us today and book your dental assessment.