Tooth whitening is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the colour of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.
Having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients and there are a number of ways to whiten teeth. The most popular methods are using a home tooth whitening system or having ‘laser whitening’ performed in the dental surgery, both of which will whiten teeth dramatically. Since tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after whitening so they will match the newly whitened teeth.
Tooth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up maybe needed every several years, and more often if you smoke or drink a lot of coffee, tea, or red wine.
Reasons for tooth whitening
- Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
- Normal wear of outer tooth layer.
- Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.).
- Yellow, brown stained teeth.
What does tooth whitening involve?
There are two types of tooth whitening:-
a) In house ‘ZOOM’ technique (laser whitening). This is carried out by the dentist in the dental chair and usually takes about one and a half hours. It avoids the need for repeated applications at home.
b) Whitening tray home application technique. This type of tooth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (moulds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear plastic, trays. At your second appointment, you will try in the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are filled with a special whitening solution and worn during the day for 1-2 hours minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. It is normal to experience some tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped whitening.
You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit your dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.