What is tooth whitening?
Tooth whitening can be a very effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface. It cannot make a complete colour change, but it may lighten the existing shade.
Who can whiten my teeth?
By law, only dentists, dental therapists, dental hygienists and clinical dental technicians working to the prescription of a dentist can legally perform tooth whitening.
Why would I need my teeth whitened?
There are a number of reasons why you might get your teeth whitened. Everyone is different; and just as our hair and skin colour vary, so do our teeth. Very few people have brilliant-white teeth, and our teeth can also become more discoloured as we get older.
Your teeth can also be stained on the surface by food and drinks such as tea, coffee, red wine and blackcurrant. Smoking can also stain teeth.
Some people may have staining under the surface, which can be caused by certain antibiotics or by tiny cracks in the teeth which take up stains.
What does tooth whitening involve?
Your dentist will first take an impression of your teeth and send this to a dental technician, who will build a tray to the exact measurements of your mouth. You will then be provided with your custom-made teeth-whitening trays and the appropriate gels.Your dentist will check that the tray fits and demonstrate how to carry out the procedure at home.
The tray fits closely around the teeth, and is filled with a whitening gel. The ‘active ingredient’ in the product is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. As the active ingredient is broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel on the teeth and the tooth colour is made lighter. Depending on the strength of peroxide in the gel, these trays are usually worn for a couple of hours a day or overnight. Treatment can take anywhere from three days to a couple of weeks.
Tooth whitening will not change the colour of fillings, veneers or crowns, so it is important to discuss your suitability with your dentist.
Call us today to book your appointment.