Teeth Whitening

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Tooth whitening is a quick and inexpensive way to dramatically improve someone’s appearance and a bright white smile can make someone look good and feel great.

In a recent survey, carried out on behalf of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, tooth whitening was the most popular cosmetic dental treatment. Research has also shown that colour is the most important factor in determining the attractiveness of a smile. The treatment is suitable for most people to reverse age changes and is particularly successful in removing unsightly stains left by smoking, tea/coffee and certain foods. The results will vary for each individual depending on the existing natural shading of the teeth and the level of discolouration.

The advantages of tooth whitening are that it is a quick, safe, painless procedure that restores the natural colour of the teeth with no structural change. People should also consider tooth whitening prior to any restorative work so that the colour of the crowns and veneers can be matched to the natural tooth colour after whitening.

How does teeth whitening work?

Tooth whitening requires the application of a whitening gel to the tooth surface. The whitening gels use oxidising agents, most commonly hydrogen peroxide, on molecules causing intrinsic staining, allowing these molecules to be converted into smaller non-coloured material. Once whitened, the effects will last between 2-3 years depending on how much tea coffee, red wine or other staining products are used.

With tooth whitening treatment we can lighten your teeth by application of a tooth whitening gel to the surfaces. This is now done at home wearing close-fitting application trays for 2 x 30 minute sessions over 10 or more days. Once whitened, the effect will last between 2-3 years depending on how much tea, coffee, red wine, tobacco and other staining products you use. Fees for this would be £349 for home whitening with trays; if you wish to top-up the whitening, you can buy additional gel for your home trays.

If you wish to lighten the colour of your natural teeth, then the procedure should be completed prior to the construction of any ceramic restorations, as we shall attempt to match the tooth colours. When you are happy with the end result we can progress to the next phase of treatment.

Top patient tips

  • No whitening is permanent. Maintenance is needed to keep that bright smile.
  • Only a dentist can get teeth to the maximum whiteness.
  • See a dentist first to check teeth are healthy before starting. Teeth and gums can become permanently sensitive if they are not healthy first.
  • There is no evidence that whitening toothpastes can actually whiten teeth.
  • Whitening kits can at best do nothing and at worst some of those bought abroad or over the Internet can actually harm teeth as they contain acids/abrasives that can cause permanent damage.

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