Tooth Whitening

Whitening is a process where the tooth discolouration is 'whitened' to a lighter shade. It removes the staining agent through chemical means. It is a safe procedure when carried out under professional supervision.

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Questions & Answers

What is tooth whitening?

It is a bleaching process that lightens discolouration's of enamel and dentine. It uses a mild solution retained in custom-fitted trays that is worn over your teeth., most commonly at night. Tooth Whitening is one of the easiest and most popular cosmetic treatments and can give fantastic results in a short period of time, as most teeth lighten within only a few weeks.

What causes tooth discolouration?

There are many causes to include ageing, consumption of staining substances (coffee, tea, colas, tobacco), trauma, and old  fillings.

Who may benefit from tooth whitening?

The vast majority of people will benefit from tooth whitening. However, there are some cases when treatment may not be effective. A dentist will determine  suitable patients for the process after a thorough oral examination and diagnosis. Darker stains such as those caused by antibiotics may take longer to respond to treatment. The degree of whiteness will vary from patient to patient, depending on the structure of the teeth, the number of applications, and/or the duration of time that the system is used. Patients with heavily filled front teeth may not be suitable for bleaching and these cases veneers or crowns may be a more suitable option to improve the appearance of these teeth

Is the process safe?

Yes. Studies have shown that teeth whitening with carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide under the supervision of a dentist is safe for teeth and gums. In fact many dentists consider this whitening process to be the safest cosmetic dental procedure available today.

How does it work?

The whitening gel is placed in a thin bleaching tray that fits over your teeth. Typically these trays are worn at night. As the active ingredient in the gel is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentine and the tooth colour is made lighter.

How long does it take?

Treatment duration can vary between patients however on average results are usually seen after the first week. Maximum results generally occur when the process is continued over 10-14 days.

Are there any side effects?

Some people experience temporary increased tooth sensitivity to cold during the treatment. These symptoms however disappear within 1-3 days after interruption or completion of the treatment.

How long do the results last?

The teeth will always be lighter than they once were; however, some patients may need a tooth whitening ‘top-up’ for 1-2 days, once or twice a year. In order to maintain the whitest tooth shade possible, it is best to avoid substances like coffee, tea, red wine and tobacco.