Tooth Whitening

What does tooth whitening do ?
Tooth whitening can be a highly effective, yet very simple way of lightening the colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface. It cannot make a colour change, but lightens the existing colour.

Why would my teeth need to be bleached ?
Everyone is different; and just as our hair and skin colour varies, so do our teeth. Some teeth have a yellowish tinge, some are more beige - very few are actually 'white'. Teeth also yellow with age can become stained on the surface by food and drinks such as tea, coffee and blackcurrant. Calculus (tartar) can also affect the colour of the teeth. Some people may have staining inside their teeth. This can be caused by certain antibiotics or tiny cracks in the teeth, which take up the stain. 

What does the procedure involve ?
The procedure involves having some moulds taken of your teeth to enable the laboratory to construct specially designed trays. These trays are inserted in your mouth to appply the whitening agent  in a comfotable and safe manner. The dentist will show you how to do this. You will be given a kit to take home to apply the whitening agent yourself.You should see very obvious changes within two weeks. The advantage of a home whitening system is that you have full control over the shade of your teeth and you can lighten and brighten your teeth whenever you want.
We dispense extra tubes of whitening agent for additional applications.
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Will I be happy with the results ?
Treatment results may vary depending on the original shade of the teeth. Teeth will tend to darken slightly over time. The effect lasts around 1 to 3 years, although sometimes it can last longer.

When might whitening not work ?
Whitening can only lighten your existing tooth colour. For a change to specific chosen shade veneering is another option. Whitening also works on natural teeth. It will not work on any type of 'false' teeth. This includes dentures, crowns and veneers. If dentures are stained or discoloured, it may be worth visiting the dentist and asking him or her to clean them. Stained veneers, crowns and dentures may need replacing. Again, ask your dentist.

How do I care for my teeth after whitening ?
Talk to your dentist about maintaining the colour of your teeth and the products that are available for keeping the effect. Each individual's lifestyle needs to be assessed but good oral hygiene and regular visits to the hygienist will help to maintain the effect for longer.
Some people find that their teeth are sensitive for the first few days after treatment, but this wears off after a short while. Your dentist will advise you of the products you can use to counteract this.

What about home kits ?
Over-the-counter kits are not recommended as they contain only a small amount of hydrogen peroxide which makes the product less effective. Some also contain mild acids, while others are abrasive. Although these products are cheaper, whitening is a complicated treatment procedure and should only be carried out by a dentist after a thorough examination and assessments of your teeth. It is very important to follow the instructions your dentist gives you, and to make sure that you go for any follow-up appointments recommended.

What about whitening toothpaste ?
There are now several whitening toothpastes you can buy. Although they do not affect the natural colour of the tooth, they are effective at removing staining and therefore improving the overall appearance of the tooth. Whitening toothpaste may also help to keep up the appearance, once teeth have been professionally whitened.