- What is tooth whitening?
Tooth whitening lightens the natural colour of your teeth. It does not change the colour completely, but it can lighten the existing shade. It will not be effective on any types of 'false' teeth such as crowns, veneers and dentures. Fillings already present in your teeth will remain the original colour.
- What does the treatment involve?
Firstly, your dentist will need to assess whether you are suitable for professional bleaching treatment.
The second stage would be to take impressions of your teeth to make bleaching trays. At your second appointment, the dentist will check that the trays fit properly and will instruct and supervise you on the correct way to apply the bleaching gel into the trays, so you can carry out your treatment confidently at home.
The dentist will check and record the shade of your teeth prior to treatment, so the change in colour can be monitored from start to finish. The 'active ingredient' in the whitening product is hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
A final review appointment will be made for you to check on your progress and the change in colour shading will be noted at that point.
- How long does the treatment take?
The treatment usually takes between two to four weeks, daily applying the whitening product. The hydrogen peroxide gel will need to be applied at least twice a day for 30-45 minutes, whilst carbamide peroxide is used for 2 hours at a time or overnight.
- How long will it last?
The effects of whitening may vary from person to person but generally last one to two years. The effect is best maintained if you refrain from food or drink products that stain your teeth or from smoking. You can ask your dental team for advice about this.
- Any side effects?
Some patients may experience increased sensitivity to cold after the treatment. Some may experience discomfort in the gums or white patches on the gum line. Such symptoms should disappear within a few days after treatment has finished.
Please contact your dentist if any of these symptoms persist.