Tooth whitening is a method of removing stains and discolouration from the teeth, and improving their colour through a bleaching process to make them look ‘whiter’.
For heavily stained teeth a procedure as simple as a scale and polish can significantly improve their appearance, however this will not alter the colour of the teeth.
Here at Crossgar Dental Practice we offer a tray system which the patient wears at home. The treatment takes 2-4 weeks to complete, and involves filling a mouthguard-like tray with a gel whitening solution. The gel contains a peroxide bleaching agent, and the tray is worn for a number of hours each day. We have tried several systems but have found the tray system used at home offers the best long term results, and is certainly better value than the rapid systems using lights/lasers.
Tooth whitening may not be suitable for everyone. We offer a free consultation which will quickly identify patients for whom bleaching is not appropriate and who would benefit from other dental treatment such as crowns or veneers.
How long do the bleaching effects last?
Whitening is not permanent, people who expose their teeth to foods/ beverages (red wine, tea, coffee) and agents (smoking) that cause staining may see the whiteness start to fade. However, the procedure can be ‘touched up’ as often as necessary by purchasing additional peroxide gel from reception. The degree of whiteness will vary from individual to individual depending on the condition of the teeth and nature of the stain.
What are the side effects from bleaching?
The two side effects that occur most often are a mild irritation of the soft tissues (particularly the gums) and a increase in tooth sensitivity. Both these conditions are temporary and disappear within 1-3 days of completing treatment. Tooth sensitivity often occurs during the early stages of the bleaching treatment, and there are a number of ways to reduce/ eliminate it, which the dentist will advise you of if it should occur.