Tooth whitening, also known as teeth bleaching, is a cosmetic dental procedure aimed at lightening the colour of natural teeth and enhancing their appearance. It is a popular treatment for individuals who wish to achieve a brighter, whiter smile.
Tooth discoloration can occur due to various factors, including ageing, consumption of certain foods and beverages (such as coffee, tea, and red wine), tobacco use, poor oral hygiene, and certain medications. Tooth whitening treatments help to remove stains and restore a more youthful, vibrant appearance to the teeth.
What happens during the tooth whitening process?
Before undergoing any tooth whitening treatment, a consultation appointment is booked to determine the suitability of the procedure for your specific situation. Your dentist will evaluate the condition of your teeth, discuss any potential risks or side effects, and provide guidance on the most appropriate tooth whitening method for you.
It’s important to note that tooth whitening treatments are most effective on natural teeth and may not have the same results on dental restorations, such as fillings, crowns, or veneers. In some cases, additional dental procedures may be necessary to match the shade of the whitened teeth with existing restorations. This is the reason a consultation appointment is paramount prior to any treatment.
There are two primary methods of tooth whitening:
At-home whitening: This method involves the use of custom-fitted trays provided by us from a digital scan taken of the teeth at the consultation appointment. The patient fills the trays with a lower concentration of bleaching gel and wears them over the teeth for a prescribed period, usually a few hours a day or overnight, for a designated period of time (e.g., a few days to a few weeks). At-home whitening takes longer to achieve desired results compared to in-office treatment but offers the convenience of performing the procedure at home.
In-chair professional whitening: This procedure is performed by us within the practice. It involves the application of a higher concentration of bleaching agents, such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, directly to the teeth. The bleaching agent is typically activated by a specialized light. In-chair whitening produces quick and noticeable results, with several shades of improvement achieved in just one 60 minute visit. The results can be topped up with some home whitening over a couple days post treatment, using custom trays and top up gels provided by us.
teeth whitening aftercare
After undergoing tooth whitening treatment, it’s important to follow proper aftercare instructions to maintain the results and promote the longevity of your brighter smile.
Here are some essential tips for teeth whitening aftercare: