Did you know that over three quarters of people don’t like smiling, and over half of us
would change something about our smile. The simplest way is to perk up those teeth is teeth whitening. It is the most common cosmetic dentistry procedure, with tens of millions of treatments carried out around the world.
So what is tooth whitening?
Teeth whitening is the most popular procedure in cosmetic dentistry. Whitening restores natural tooth colour and whitens beyond the natural colour. There are many methods available, such as brushing, bleaching strips, bleaching pen, bleaching gel, and laser bleaching. Teeth whitening has become the most requested procedure in cosmetic dentistry today.
Before any type of whitening treatment, you will have an initial consultation, to explain to you the procedures of whitening, costs, pros and cons to each treatment option, and what the dentist thinks is best for you. Whitening can be done on almost any more over the age of 18 years, as long as your teeth are in a fit state. What we mean by this is, we wouldn’t advise you getting whitening done if you have lots of cavities in your teeth and bad oral hygiene. We always advise you get the health side of your teeth treated first before you start thinking about cosmetic treatments, as it doesn’t make sense having nice looking teeth, which are really rotting underneath. We want what is best for your health, and sometimes what looks nice isn’t always what’s best.
If you decide to go ahead with the whitening treatment, a shade will be taken of your teeth prior the treatment is carried out, and after the whitening is complete another shade will be taken, to see how many shades lighter they have gone.
Teeth that have fillings on them or crowns and bridges will not whiten, so bare this in mind that if you whiten your teeth and you have a crown at the front of your smile, it won’t change colour of the porcelain on the crown, so you may need to consider having a new crown after the whitening treatment to blend in with the new shade, if it bothers you.
Fortunately, these days it’s possible to have whiter teeth in the short amount of a few hours. In surgery whitening, also known as laser whitening, can be done in less than a day. This type of whitening is done using a gel which is placed carefully onto your teeth, avoiding the soft tissues in your mouth by using special mouth retractors and materials, and protective goggles to protect your eyes. The gel then activates by shining an ultra violet light, also known as laser, onto your teeth. The light is left on your teeth for an hour, up to two hours max, being closely observed by the dentist every 15 minutes. During this time, the gel is topped up onto the outer surface of your teeth. If you have reached your desired shade before the 1 or 2 hours, you are able to stop the treatment at any time, this is the great thing about instant whitening, you are in control.
Home whitening is basically what it says on the tin, you do it in the comfort of your own home. Home whitening isn’t as instant as the laser whitening, usually for a first time whitening process; it takes 2 weeks to finish the treatment. So with the home whitening, you visit the dental surgery for your initial consultation, and if you’re happy with the procedure explained, you will have dental impressions taken of your mouth, which will then get sent to a dental laboratory. There they will cast up your impressions and make trays especially made for your mouth. Once you receive your trays, you can start your treatment. You simply place a small amount of gel in your trays, and wear the trays at home, for a minimum of an hour, depending on the type and brand of whitening gel you was supplied by your dentist, as different gels have different wear times. Previously, you had to wear the gels from 8 hours a day, so most patients wore theirs overnight. Now dentistry has improved their materials, you can wear your trays for as little as an hour a day, which makes it much easier for the patient, and makes your treatment less time consuming.
With both types of whitening, you may notice some sensitivity during the whitening process. But this is only temporary, and should restore back to its normal self after you’ve finished whitening. For this we simply advise to use sensitive toothpaste, to either brush with it, or by using it as an ointment, leaving it on the sensitive area to soak into the tooth. This helps fill in the tiny microscopic pores in your teeth, blocking out coldness to the nerve of your teeth.
Also during your whitening process, we would advise to avoid things that may make your teeth more stained, such as certain teas, coffee, red wine and smoking. Even some foods can cause staining, like curries, and some mouthwash brands have proven to cause staining. During whitening, your teeth are more prone to staining, so it’s important to avoid these things, to get the best result possible.
Once you’ve whitened your teeth, like anything, they won’t stay white forever, due to day to day things you eat and drink, overtime they will stain discolour again. But don’t worry, no need to go through the whole process of whitening again, all you need to do is simply top up your whitening, by wearing your trays again for a few days, most people top theirs up before a night out, or a special occasion, or if they just notice they are not as sparkly as they were before, and want a little whitening boost. That’s the benefit of having the home whitening system, you will always have your trays for future top ups, unlike the in surgery whitening, where trays are not supplied. Because of this, some practices do deals where they take home trays are included in the price. As we know going through the whole laser process again can be a hassle, and also it’s not very cost effective. Whereas if you have the trays, you only need to buy more bleach, which you can purchase from your dentist, from as little as £10 per syringe.
The cost of teeth whitening
Being the cheapest form of cosmetic dentistry its very good value for money especially compared to porcelain veneers. Average costs from £250.
There are no direct alternatives but veneers and cosmetic bonding are a very popular but more invasive procedure. If your teeth are just stained you could see the dental hygienist and this often makes your teeth appear whiter or to their original colour. There is a lot of advertising on whitening tooth pastes but these have minimal effects and no way near comparable to professional teeth whitening.
Because of the extensive experience of our cosmetic dentists and the use of the best materials we get the best results for you! On average we see 8 to15 shades improvement.
So if you don’t like the colour of your teeth there is no reason why you cannot have teeth whitening!
Perfect Smile Spa based in Hornchurch Essex is a leading cosmetic dental practice.
Why wait, call us today for a free consultation on 01708 442114 or email [email protected] Can I Whiten My Teeth? was last modified: July 2nd, 2018 by Dr Jas Sagoo