Teeth whitening is as easy as visiting your dentist. It is a simple treatment to lighten your teeth and remove stains or discoloration. It is a very popular and effective way to create a celebrity-style smile.
When is teeth whitening used?
Teeth whitening is used to treat extrinsic stains on teeth.
The outer layer of your tooth is called the enamel. The enamel helps to give your teeth their natural colour. If your enamel is too thin, the underlying dentin will show through. The enamel and the dentin can become stained from daily use. Some of the most common reasons for stains include drinking fluids with a dark colour, not taking care of your teeth properly and ageing. These types of stains are known as extrinsic stains.
Stains can also form on the inside of your tooth. These are known as intrinsic stains. They are caused from having too much fluoride as a child, taking tetracycline antibiotics and trauma. Teeth whitening will not treat intrinsic stains.
What method of bleaching do we use at the surgery?
There are two main types of tooth bleaching: in-office bleaching in the dental chair and the home bleach technique. After attending courses on the techniques involved, we do not believe that in office bleaching gives lasting whitening. As a result, we use only the home bleach technique which is normally less expensive.
What does treatment consist of?
At your initial visit we discuss the whitening process and procedure, taking impressions of your teeth and constructing custom-fitting soft, clear silicone bleach trays.
At your next visit we take a pre-treatment photograph and check the trays for fit. You will be shown how to use the bleach gel in the trays which is a simple procedure. The normal process is for you to wear these trays for seven to ten nights while you sleep (which don’t have to be consecutive). We also take a pre-treatment photo at that visit.
Three weeks later we review you on a complimentary visit and take a post-treatment photo and check your tooth colour to ensure that you have been happy with the results.
What to expect during and after whitening
After the procedure, you may feel some minor sensitivity throughout your mouth which will diminish. Provided you regularly brush, floss and attend dental appointments, your teeth should remain whitened for up to two years.