Teeth whitening is a process of changing the shades of the teeth, making them appear whiter and brighter. It is a non-invasive, and relatively simple treatment.
It is a simple way to spruce up one’s smile and many cases may show up to 8-10 shades difference. Some patients may experience some sensitivity during the course of the treatment but this will not be permanent.
Relatively quick and simple way of increasing the brightness of one’s smile, which usually needs about 2-3 weeks of home whitening or 1 hour of in-office whitening.
Able to correct many intrinsic (internal) stains, which cannot be removed by scaling and polising.
Tougher stains like Tetracycline stains can also be corrected but may take much longer to correct and in some severe cases may not be able to be completely removed.
A non-invasive procedure which does not involve trimming down of teeth.
The dentist will do a full checkup and ensure that you are a good candidate for whitening.
Advice on dietary changes during the treatment will be given and expectations will be discussed.
Upper and lower moulds will be taken for fabrication of whitening trays.
Avoid all coloured foods and drinks (eg. Coffee, tea, cola, red wine etc) during the course of the treatment, plus and additional 24 hours. Which mean if you finish your treatment on a Monday morning, you should continue to avoid these coloured products till the end of Tuesday.
Certain white coloured fillings or crowns will not whiten with the treatment and will need to be replaced if the colour is not correct.
Take home Whitening
After moulds are taken, they will usually be ready within 2-3 hours as they are done in–house. If you would like to receive the trays on the same day, ask our friendly staff if it is possible, as sometimes, due to the workload in our laboratory, they may be too much back log.
Instructions will be given on how to apply the gel.
The application each day is for a period of 1x30minute session, or may also be broken up into 2x15 minutes sessions. No need to sleep overnight with tray anymore!
Review after 3-4 weeks.
Set aside about 90 minutes for prepping time and clean up after the treatment.
Teeth will be cleaned and prepped.
A gum shield will be placed over the gums, and a cheek retractor will be placed. This retractor does feel a little strange.
3-4 sessions of 15 minute whitening periods will commence. A white light will be shone on the teeth during this period with a 1-2 minute gel removal and reapplication.
When completed, the gum shield and retractor will be removed.
As part of our protocol, a set of trays will be given for 1-2 days of take home maintenance procedure. This is to ensure that the colour you walked out with will be maintained.
What are the side effects?
The process is relatively simple but the main complaint is of mild to moderate sensitivity during the treatment. This is not permanent and disappears with the completion of the treatment. There are desensitising gels that you can purchase from us should you require it. Sometimes simple painkillers may be needed to help relieve the discomfort.
The process does not weaken your teeth or your fillings. However, the whitening does not change the colour of your existing fililngs or crowns and these may need to be changed to match the new shade.
I am pregnant or nursing. Is it safe?
Whitening is generally safe. The gel that we use is hydrogen peroxide, which converts to water upon activation. There are no studies that show any issues with a developing foetus during whitening. However, as the first trimester is usually a crucial period during pregnancy, we do advise caution during this time.
There is no issue with doing whitening while nursing.
Can I do whitening on my child?
We do advocate caution when considering whitening for a young child. We would err on the side of caution and recommend at least 16yo to begin whitening, although we frequently only do it for 18 years old and above. The permanent teeth need to be fully mature before any whitening can start.
Am I suitable for whitening?
Although whitening is a generally safe and simple procedure, we do advice a full consultation prior to whitening. There are some tooth developmental issues that can affect the whitening and it’s chance of success.
Do I have to keep off coloured drinks all the time after the whitening process?
You should only stay off coloured drinks during the course of treatment, plus an additional 24 hours. Your dentist can advise you on how to keep up the condition of your smile.
Can I use tooth whitening toothpastes and over-the-counter gels instead?
Store-bought toothpastes and gels are much less concentrated and have a different mode of application. Our professional gels are maintained at a higher concentration and have a very specific method of application to improve the efficiency.
I have deep dark bands on my teeth from tetracycline staining. Can this be removed?
Tetracycline staining can be improved but it must be noted that the whitening periods take much longer and may not be able to be removed completely.