There are many reasons for wanting a whiter smile, getting married, a new job, a new you. If you are not happy with colour of your teeth then whitening can be an effective way of lightening the natural shade of your teeth, giving you the smile you always wanted. The traditional method of whitening a smile was usually multiple crowns or veneers. Multiple crowns or veneers are comparatively expensive, time consuming to plan, prepare, and destructive since healthy tooth tissue must often be removed. If you are unhappy with your smile and want to improve it, the best way is to first try a tooth whitening treatment, since this is both cheaper and easier and less invasive than the traditional cosmetic treatments.
What does tooth whitening involve?
Professional bleaching is the best and most usual method of tooth whitening. We will be able to tell you if you are suitable for bleaching, and we will supervise and advise you during the process.
The total treatment can usually be carried out within 2-5 weeks.
The stages are as follows
- We will do a check up to ensure that your mouth is in the best of health. Any defective fillings or gum issues including scaling and polishing will be attended to before we start treatment.
- Photos and impressions of your teeth will be taken and bespoke bleaching trays will be made for you.
- The bespoke trays will be fitted. You will be shown the process of home whitening and advised how to get the best results and any questions you have will be answered.
- A review appointment after about 1 week will be made to check how you are getting on with treatment.
How long will my teeth stay whiter?
The effects of whitening are thought to last up to three years. However, this will vary from person to person. The effect is less likely to last as long if you smoke, or eat or drink products that can stain your teeth.
What are the side effects?
Some people may find that their teeth become sensitive to cold during or after the treatment. Others may have discomfort in the gums, a sore throat or white patches on the gum line. These symptoms are usually temporary and should disappear within a few days of the treatment finishing.
What about whitening toothpastes?
There are several whitening toothpastes on the market. Although they do not affect the natural colour of your teeth, they may be effective at removing minor staining. Therefore, they may improve the overall appearance of your teeth. Whitening toothpastes may also help the effect to last, once your teeth have been professionally whitened.
Can a single tooth which has been root filled be whitened?
Yes. Sometimes dead teeth go discoloured after a root filling. If the tooth has been root treated, the canal (which contained the nerve) may be reopened. The whitening product is applied from the inside to whiten the tooth.
When might tooth whitening not work?
Tooth whitening can only lighten your existing tooth colour. It only works on natural teeth and will not work on any fillings or types of ‘false' teeth such as dentures, crowns and veneers.
Before treatment we will advise you if you have any of these that are visible when you smile and we will give you an estimate of how much it will cost to replace these after you complete your whitening treatment
How can I look after my teeth once they have been whitened?
You can help to keep your teeth white by cutting down on the amount of food and drinks you have that can stain teeth. Don't forget, stopping smoking can also help prevent discolouration and staining.
We recommend the following tips to take care of your teeth:
- brush your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, with a fluoride toothpaste
- cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks
- visit us regularly for check ups to maintain your oral health.