Tooth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the colour of natural tooth enamel and can be used to enhance the beauty of your smile. We get many patients enquiring about this treatment.
We recommend a full examination and clean prior to bleaching treatment.
Generally there are two main ways to whiten teeth with dental bleach:
1. Take home whitening system
Custom-made plastic trays are constructed using models of your teeth. The whitening gel is inserted into these custom made trays and worn for half an hour each day. Take-home whitening is more common with people preferring the comfort and privacy of their home to achieve the desired results. It tends to be less expensive than in- chair whitening and so is more accessible. The process usually takes 10-14 days but will vary from person to person. It can be a more 'gentle' system with less reported sensitivity.
2. In the chair whitening system
In-chair whitening consists of high-strength whitening gels that are activated by heat from a light source under the supervision of your dentist. This type of whitening may achieve up to five shades lighter in a 90-minute treatment session.
Since tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to consider replacement of any old fillings, crowns etc.
Tooth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up may be needed after a year or so, and more often if you smoke or drink coffee, tea or wine. Bleaching trays however, may be kept and used again to boost the whiteness of your teeth. This can be done easily and quickly with top up kits available from our practice.
It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.