What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is a bleaching process that lightens stains in the enamel and dentine of your teeth, to give a brighter tooth colour.
There are two ways to do it-
- Chairside bleaching – usually requires only one office visit.
- At-home whitening- Dentist will provide you with top quality custom-made tray specially for you. Bleaching material needs to be applied in the tray.
What are the benefits of tooth whitening?
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Are all teeth suitable for whitening?
- Teeth whitening may be done on live teeth and teeth that have had root canal treatment.
- Before having your teeth whitened, the dentist will check to make sure your teeth are suitable to be treated.
- Tooth whitening may make your old fillings or crowns look darker after treatment, so it is very important to be checked and advised of this before you proceed.
- Areas of your teeth may whiten at different rates depending on the location of the stain, hardness of the tooth and the intensity of the stain.
How can your dentist whiten your teeth?
- Tooth whitening can be done at home (using a customised tray system designed by your dentist), or with professional teeth whitening dentist .
- Your dentist can provide a more effective tooth whitening system for use at home than the ‘do-it-yourself’ kits available at pharmacies.
- The dentist makes an impression for a model of your teeth. A thin, custom-fitted, clear, plastic tray that fits over your teeth is made.
- At home, you place a whitening gel into the tray over your teeth. This is worn for up to two hours daily or at night.
- Results are usually seen after the first day, but maximum whitening may take 10-14 days. Your dentist will check on your progress.
- Your dentist can also whiten your teeth at the dental office, using similar ingredients to the home use whitening.
- The whitening gel is applied to the tooth and may be activated with a special light for up to 20-30 minutes. Several repeat processes may be necessary.
Are there any side-effects of home or office treatment?
- Sometimes people will experience increased tooth and gum sensitivity during treatment, which goes away shortly after stopping the treatment.
- The structure of the tooth is not changed by the process.
Can teeth with root fillings whiten?
- Yes, root-filled teeth are treated by placing a bleach inside the tooth.
- A rubber shield is placed over the tooth, and the tooth is partly opened into where the root filling has been placed.
- The inside is cleaned, and a bleaching material is placed inside.
- The tooth is temporary resealed and left 7-10 days. Sometimes two or three applications may be necessary.
How long does whitening last?
- Over time your teeth can lose some of their whiteness. You may need to repeat the process occasionally.