The teeth whitening is reserved for healthy teeth: without any fillings or root canals, completely scaled and polished; it is necessary to have a consultation first in order to guarantee you the best result
The bleaching can be done in the office (chairside) or at home(with dental trays)
The chairside whitening is done in the office by the dentist with concentrated gel activated by laser.During the treatment (that lasts between 60 and 90 minutes)your eyes are protected by special glasses; your teeth sensitivity can increase for few days… following week after treatment you have to avoid :
- Beverages (tea, coffee, red wine, cola)
- Foods (curry, fried foods, foods with colouring, berries, beetroot)
- Mouthwashes – (those which contain chlorhexidine)
- Antibiotics – Erythromycin, Amoxicillin, Tetracycline stains teeth when used during the development of adult teeth .
- Iron supplements
- Fluorosis stains (ingestion of too much fluoride in water, toothpaste or fluoride tablets) .
Professional home teeth whitening
The best part about this type of teeth whitening is that you are in control and it is tailor-made to suit your daily routine or lifestyle. For example, if you find it difficult to wear the trays overnight, then daytime gels are available which are used for only 45 minutes, once a day. If you are not happy to wear the trays during the daytime for any reason, then you can have the night time gel available, which has to be used overnight for a minimum of 5-6 hours. The procedure involves making tailor-made soft and comfortable ‘whitening trays’ that are user-friendly. They fit snugly over your teeth. A very small amount (dot-sized) of whitening gel is placed inside the trays.
This depends on the amount of lightening that you desire and the original color of your teeth. If your teeth are quite dark or very yellow / grey / tetracycline stained it will take longer to lighten the teeth. The length of time you wear the trays for at each sitting will depend on the product concentration of Whitening gel we recommend to you. Some products require only overnight wear while others require daytime wear. When using the trays with whitening agent for half an hour or one hour twice daily, please make sure there’s a time interval of at least two hours in between the two sessions. In general, the darker your teeth, the longer it takes to lighten them. Tetracycline stained teeth can take 6 months or up to one year to lighten. It is important for you to know that different techniques will suit different types of discoloration and that there is no hard and fast rule for how long it would take for teeth to lighten with a technique.
How safe is Teeth Whitening?
The only people that we recommend avoid using Whitening chemicals are pregnant and breastfeeding women, those individuals with known allergies or children under 16 years of age. The most common after effects could be teeth sensitivity or a blister/laser burn, both of which are very temporary. Rarely, existing hidden dental abscesses may become active as a result of Whitening gel penetrating the tooth surface.
What do I do if I have any sensitivity?
Many people have naturally sensitive teeth anyway. Sensitivity of teeth is the most common side effect of teeth whitening on those teeth surfaces where enamel is absent or is very thin. It often occurs around the necks of the teeth where the gum may be receded. If you are experiencing sensitivity, you should stop whitening and obtain support. Based upon our experience, we can suggest some tips that you will find effective in minimizing teeth sensitivity. If you are at all concerned, please seek professional advice.
What happens if the teeth do not whiten evenly?
During the first few days of whitening, you may notice new white spots forming on your teeth. Do not worry. These white spots were originally present on your teeth but were not visible to the naked eye. As the teeth start to become lighter they become more visible because these white spots are also whitening. As the whole tooth becomes lighter these spots fade and so become less noticeable. Sometimes the dentist can do a special procedure called Microabrasion where the white spots can be more permanently removed. Ask us about the procedure if you are concerned about this. Some people’s teeth may appear banded with lighter / whiter areas. Again these bands were originally present on the teeth. As the teeth become lighter, the lighter parts of the teeth will lighten first followed by the darker banded area. After a week or so these will not be noticeable anymore.
How will my teeth feel?
Normally the teeth feel very smooth and clean after the whitening procedure. The whitening materials also have an indirect effect on the gums in helping them to heal or improving their health. Amazingly, this is how the technique was invented as it was first used to heal gum irritation during orthodontic treatment.
What about my existing crowns?
If you have pre-existing white fillings (or crowns) on your front teeth that match the existing shade of your teeth, then it is very likely that they may not match the teeth afterwards. This is because your teeth can lighten, but the fillings (and crowns) do not lighten. When the desired color has been achieved, we can replace these fillings with a lighter shade of filling material to match the new shade of your teeth. Normally we would wait two weeks before renewing the fillings.
How long does the whitening last? Will I have to whiten my teeth again?
Normally the new white color of your teeth holds quite well. However, depending on what caused the teeth to discolor in the first place will dictate the treatment’s prognosis. If you drink lots of black coffee, red wine, cola drinks or have curries regularly then the teeth may discolor again. In this situation some people prefer to do a top-up treatment as and when required. If you practice good oral hygiene and brush normally, especially after consuming foods that stain teeth then the results could last for years.
Does Whitening harm the teeth or gums?
Safety studies have shown that Teeth Whitening, under the supervision of an experienced dentist using the right products, is perfectly safe on the teeth, cheeks, gums and other tissues of the mouth. Problems have been reported with the whitening kits that are purchased over the counter and other non licensed teeth whitening providers such as hairdressers and nail clinics. Although they are inexpensive, some contain an acid rinse, which can damage the teeth or thin down the enamel of the teeth. This acid rinse can be extremely harmful to the teeth.
The technique of whitening teeth is not for everybody. There are some situations where whitening teeth is contra-indicated such as where the front teeth are already crowned or veneered or where there are very large fillings on the front teeth or where the teeth are already excessively worn and there is loss of tooth surface. The most ideal situation is where there is not much wrong with the teeth except for the color which has become more yellow with age.
Some useful and safety tips:
- Do not use household bleach to whiten your teeth.
- This technique is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women.
- Keep home-use gel out of heat/sunlight. Keep it refrigerated. Do not freeze.
- Tooth colored fillings and crowns do not respond to teeth whitening.
- Avoid any foods that could stain during the whitening process. Anything that could stain a white t-shirt could also stain recently whitened teeth so stick to a white or clear diet to 24-48 hours after.
- If you have questions about any aspects of this treatment, please seek professional advice.
- Do not use tobacco products or eat/drink while whitening