Tooth whitening is a procedure designed to lighten the colour of your teeth. Almost anyone is suitable for whitening, which will not harm your teeth and gums if done properly. Certain types of staining (for example tetracycline stain) take a lot longer to whiten. Crowns, veneers and fillings cannot be whitened, and may require replacement after whitening due to the difference in colour to the surrounding teeth.
Costs start at £199 for upper and lower teeth. Please speak to your clinical team about this offer.
This is carried out by the dentist in the surgery. A special gel is applied to the teeth 3 times for 15 minutes each time, and activated with a UV light. This process takes about 1 ½ hours. You will go home, on average, 7 shades lighter. The advantages are that it is quicker to achieve a result, and includes a home whitening kit to top it up at intervals. The disadvantages are that it takes up more surgery time, and is therefore more expensive.
This involves wearing a made to measure whitening tray filled with mild whitening gel for 2-4 hours a day/night for 2-4 weeks. The advantages are that it is convenient to use, and the cost is lower. It can also be easily topped up by further applications of the gel in the future. The disadvantages are that it is more time consuming, and you need to apply the gel consistently for 2-4 weeks.
Effects of Tooth-Whitening, Safety etc:
We follow recognised tooth-whitening procedures that have been proven to be safe, do not harm the teeth or enamel or affect the teeth any more than having a fizzy drink. The gums, though, do need protection and this is done with a painted-on barrier. Sometimes some temporary sensitivity is felt during and after treatment, but rarely lasts beyond 24 hours – this is the whitening gel inside the tooth still finishing off it’s whitening reaction and lightening the teeth.
Tooth-whitening ONLY lightens natural living tooth, not dead, dark teeth or artificial materials such as fillings and crowns, which have a chemical colour embedded in them. Thus, be aware that any existing restorations may look darker than the natural teeth that have been lightened with tooth-whitening.
Often, as part of an overall treatment plan, if other work needs replacing or repairing, then in the majority of cases one would do the tooth-whitening first and then any additional work to match closer to the lighter colour gained. Further work can be done after one week, when the colour has stabilised.
After Tooth-Whitening – Maintenance:
Your teeth will feel some sensitivity, on and off, in the first 24 hours. You will also lose 1 of the average 9 shades gained, as your teeth re-hydrate and form a new saliva layer called the acquired pellicle. One must avoid any staining foods or liquids such as tea, coffee, tobacco, cola, curries, vegetables etc., having only white or clear products. Avoid anything that would stain a white shirt!
After 24 hours we recommend reducing the frequency of staining foods and drinks AND rinsing out your mouth with water after tea, coffee, smoking etc. Use a whitening toothpaste that isn’t abrasive, ideally 3 times a day and floss your teeth once a day too, for best, longest-lasting whitening results.