Teeth whitening has become one of the most popular ways to improve your smile, by lightening the existing shade of your natural teeth. This is a simple and effective treatment which can be carried out by your local dentist or at home. Teeth whitening is a non-invasive treatment, which does not involve drilling or removal of the teeth surface.
There are many reasons why your teeth can become discoloured:
- Drinking tea, coffee or red wine
- Food with strong colourings
- The natural act of ageing
- A tooth which is damaged by trauma
- Some teeth are naturally pigmented or stained as they develop
- Certain medications
Only natural teeth respond to teeth whitening; Crowns, Bridges, Dentures or Implants cannot be whitened.
The enamel has tiny microscopic holes which trap everyday stains. Teeth whitening gel is a peroxide based compound which penetrates the holes, removing the stains and lightening the teeth.
Your dentist will arrange for you to have a consultation appointment, where your teeth and gums will be examined. You can then discuss which of the teeth whitening options would be best suitable for you.
In Surgery Whitening
Whitening can be carried out in a surgery. In this way, your teeth will be several shades lighter in one to two hours. There are many methods used to achieve whiter teeth whilst in the dental chair, all the methods follow a similar procedure:
- Your gums will be protected using a rubber coating
- A Peroxide based gel will be applied to your teeth. The gel will begin to work upon contact with the tooth or will be activated using a laser light
- After a period of time the gel and the protective coating are removed to reveal whiter teeth
Your dentist will provide you with a whitening kit, which contains custom-made whitening trays and a peroxide based gel.
Home whitening can take up to 14 days to achieve your desired shade.
The degree of whitening will vary from patient to patient; greyer teeth can take longer to respond.
Teeth whitening is not permanent, as the whitening process will need to be repeated every 12 – 18 months to keep your teeth at the shade that you desire.