Tooth Whitening

“Home Tooth whitening is a great way of reversing the ageing process and rejuvenating the appearance of your smile. This technique is gentle, cost effective and safe compared with other whitening systems. Most of all it whitens teeth without the need for expensive porcelain veneers which require tooth preparation and regular maintenance.

Cosmetic dentists advise to aim for teeth that are similar colour to the whites of your eyes for a natural look.

Tooth whitening gives teeth a ‘frosty whiteness’ and it increases the amount of ‘white’ within the teeth. It is similar to viewing a picture of your smile on a TV screen and turning up the brightness control!”

Which tooth whitening do you recommend? Home whitening has the best scientific evidence for safety and effectiveness, it has been around for over 100 years!

Are my teeth suitable for whitening? A dental assessment is necessary to make sure you have no leaking fillings, no gum disease and all your dental work is in good repair, anyone who satisfies these criteria is ready for treatment.

What does the treatment involve? Impressions are made to make comfortable thin clear gum shields. Patients use these to apply a safe concentration bleaching gel that gently whitens your teeth. You can wear them during the day or at night and sleep in them.

How long does it take? This process usually takes two weeks, possibly 3 or 4 if you teeth have a lot of colour.

What is a gum shield? These are thin made to measure clear latex gum shields that have a snug fit over your teeth and hold the bleaching gel in place. You simply place a small blob of the gel inside the gum shield opposite each tooth and then put them over your teeth.

Day Time Tooth Whitening In our experience most people prefer Day Time Whitening. Simply wear the gum shields and gel as directed for one hour, then remove them, wash and dry them. Replenish the gel, and wear them for one more hour. Then stop, wash and dry the gum shields. Store them for the following day and repeat the process.

This method takes advantage of the maximum activity of the tooth whitening gel which occurs in the first few hours. This is the equivalent of wearing the gum shields overnight for 8 hours.

Night Time Tooth Whitening After brushing your teeth before retiring to bed, apply the gel and wear the gum shields whilst you sleep. This is easier than you might think. You can always try the day time approach, then once you are accustomed to the feel of the gum shields in your mouth you can easily sleep in them.

Will I need to repeat tooth whitening? The results last for several years, to put this in perspective only one patient has repeated the treatment in 10 years! There is some evidence that over the counter tooth whitening toothpastes may help maintain the lighter shade that you achieve after treatment.

Most people completed the procedure after 2 weeks. Some patients who have a lot of ‘colour’ in their teeth take up to 4 weeks to complete treatment, occasionally 6 weeks. They simply purchase additional gel which is relatively cheap.

What shade can I expect to achieve? Shade photographs are taken to record your original tooth colour and monitor the progress of your treatment. You will start to notice a shade change after 7 to 10 days, so it is normal not to see any difference in the first week of treatment. After 2 weeks most patient’s teeth are frosty white and 2 shades lighter. Patient’s are pleased with the results, some may extend treatment if they want to in order to go a little lighter, many patients request a subtle change and do not want excessively bright white teeth! You simply discontinue the treatment when you achieve the shade you want.

How safe is it – will it hurt? Although the long term effects are unknown the low concentration gel has been proven not to harm teeth, gums, lips or tongue. It is common for patients to experience sensitivity with ‘cold’, this is often short lived and goes away after a few days.

We hope this information helps you make good decisions about your dental care.
To arrange a consultation please call Hannah or Peter on 0151 423 1601
More questions? Email your questions or details to us via the contact form