So what’s the fuss about teeth whitening? Is it safe? Will it hurt? How is it done? Let us lay down the facts for you.
Teeth bleaching or teeth whitening is becoming a popular and affordable choice to brighten your smile.
However, it’s not for everyone. Prior to undergoing whitening treatment your dentist will examine your teeth and gums and advise you if they are healthy enough to go through a whitening process.
From there, several teeth whitening options should be offered, ranging from custom-made take-home kits to in-practice procedures.
In-practice teeth whitening is a procedure that is performed in the dental chair. It is the fastest and most effective way to whiten teeth and usually takes around one and a half to two hours to complete. In-practice whitening is the best option for those wanting ‘instant’ results.
The dentist will first apply a protective gel to the lips and gums, followed by the application of the whitening gel to the teeth. The gel is then activated by a special LED light, and the resulting photochemical reaction gently penetrates the tooth to lift deep stains and discolorations.
This process varies in length, depending on the depth of the stain and the goal level of whiteness. It can be a little uncomfortable having the mouth open for such a long time, but many patients find listening to music or watching a movie helps to distract them, and the upside is that there is usually only one treatment required.
A take home kit is an efficient and predictable method of whitening your teeth.
Your dentist or hygienist will take you through an initial consult consisting of a pre-whitening examination and clinical assessment. The dental exam ensures the suitability of your teeth for whitening.
Once you’ve had your exam, and you are deemed suitable, a team member will take impressions in order to fit you with custom-made trays. Within days, your complete whitening kit will be ready to be collected.
The snug fit of your custom-made tray and the dentist-quality whitening gel provides you with an amazing result that an off-the-shelf supermarket kit simply cannot offer.
Because the whitening process occurs over 1 to 2 weeks, it means you have complete control over the final result achieved.
In addition, with home whitening it is easier to maintain the final result. In the future if your teeth pick up stain from tea, coffee, smoking or red wine, a few nights of whitening will return the teeth back to their ideal shade.
Regardless of the type of whitening chosen, you can expect some tooth sensitivity during the whitening process. The amount of sensitivity experienced is hugely variable between patients but will always resolve within a few days of finishing.
Whitening is generally one of the safest and least invasive cosmetic procedures in dentistry however there are certain situations where whitening may not be appropriate.
It is important that your teeth are checked prior to whitening by a dental professional to ensure that there are no issues that could cause problems during the whitening process.