Teeth Whitening – Giving you a Brighter, Whiter Smile!
Why did my teeth discolour?
Our teeth naturally discolour as we get older. Things that we do in our everyday life such as eating and drinking, smoking, poor oral hygiene and medications all contribute to this staining.
Tea, coffee and red wine are the main culprits. Often this staining can be removed by simply having a professional clean by your dentist, however it can sometimes be more complicated and require further treatment.
Sometimes our teeth can darken due to trauma from an accident or from decay or old restorations (fillings). Whatever the cause your dentist will have an option to help you.
What results can I expect?
This will depend on the condition of your teeth and the reason they discoloured. Degrees of whiteness varies from person to person.
How long will it last?
Longevity depends to some extent on your lifestyle and what contributed to the original staining. Patients who continue to drink red wine and coffee will find the discolouration will slowly come back after a number of months, others can expect the treatment to last possibly for years.
What are the risks?
When whitening is carried out by a professional dentist the risks are minimal though everybody is different, so your dentist is the best person to speak with regarding risks.
Some people do experience some sensitivity to hot and cold following treatment, so your dentist may suggest the use of a desensitising paste. It is also possible to experience sore gums or inner cheeks, mouth ulcers, sore throat and sometimes nausea, especially if instructions are not followed correctly. If you are at all concerned about any aspects of your whitening treatment, please give your dentist a call for professional advice.
The Australian Dental Association recommends that beauticians, hairdressers, and shopping centres who are NOT qualified to whiten your teeth are best avoided.
Your dentist will consider which is your best treatment option depending on factors such as the cause of discolouration and your dental history.
In Chair Whitening
Dentists are able to use a higher concentration of material than what you can use at home, this allows him to paint on the whitening material directly on to your teeth.
The material will need to sit on your teeth for a short time before the dentist washes it off. The results are immediate! Unfortunately, the chances of sensitivity is increased when using this method.
Take Home Kit
This is probably the most popular form of whitening. The dentist will take impressions of our teeth and fabricate special trays that are designed especially for you.
You will be given several tubes of the whitening material and given detailed instructions on how to apply them. This form of whitening is a more gradual process and therefore patients experience less sensitivity.
It also allows patients to determine just how white they want their teeth to be (up to a certain extent anyway). If trays are stored correctly between uses, additional whitening material can be purchased for ‘top-up’ bleaching in the months and sometimes years ahead.
What else should I know:
It is always recommended that patients have a professional exam and clean before proceeding with any whitening treatment. There is little point in applying whitening material to teeth that are covered in plaque or calculus!
Decay in teeth may become very sensitive when you have whitening so your dentist may suggest you have your fillings attended to before proceeding with treatment.
Keep in mind that crowns, veneers and fillings don’t change colour when you have your teeth whitened.
There are many tooth whitening products on the market. Please always check with a professional dentist before using any over the counter products.