This is by far the easiest and cheapest way to get a brilliant smile.
There are many types of whitening products in the market, but only those performed and supplied by a dental professional will be safe. The materials that are used for whitening should only be used in mouths that are completely healthy and free of diseases such as tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. The solutions have a component of hydrogen peroxide that can cause severe dental pain in situations where decay and periodontal disease is present.
There are two types of whitening procedures.
- In chair whitening
This involves the patient being in the dental office for a long period of time and having the solution applied several times over. This is a fast way of achieving the whitening. As this technique takes longer it is a more costly option.
- Take home whitening
This involves making a special guard that fits closely on the tooth and the patient using the whitening solution in their own time. This is the least costly of the two options.
Will my teeth look like my favourite Hollywood movie star?
Possibly not. It is important to be realistic about what teeth whitening can achieve for you. There is often a misconception that all of the beautiful bright white smiles you see in the movies are from teeth whitening. Occasionally they are, but generally they are porcelain veneers that are adhered to the front surface of the teeth in a shade that is so white, it can sometimes have a blue hue to it.
In cases where glowing white teeth are from teeth whitening, it is often after the patient has had between two and three “In Chair Whitening” session.
Before you agree to having your treatment, it is important to have your shade determined and an approximate shade change predicted that you are happy with.
Can whitening damage my teeth?
Whitening has been done for many years now and it will not damage the enamel. If used on unhealthy teeth, it may damage the nerve in the tooth causing pain and requiring remedial treatment.
Some people, especially grinders, can have quite a lot of sensitivity that can be managed with a special paste called Tooth Mousse and over the counter pain relief.
How well does whitening work?
Carbamide peroxide (a more stable form of hydrogen peroxide) is the most effective treatment for whitening discoloured teeth. When the carbamide peroxide gel is applied to the tooth’s surface, the peroxide breaks down into water and radical hydroxyl ions. As these ions penetrate through the dentinal tubules into the tooth, they attach themselves to the darkened particles inside the enamel which then appear whitened as they break down. Sensitivity is now minimised due to the added fluoride to remineralise the enamel at the time of treatment. In order for the whitening gel to be successful, some demineralising must occur but is quickly repaired by saliva, Tooth Mousse and the fluoride contained in the gel.
Am I a candidate?
While whitening works very well on yellow teeth, it unfortunately does not effectively work on grey coloured teeth. Whitening will also not change the colour of any restorations (fillings or crowns). In some cases there may be the need to change fillings or crowns that have discoloured with time if there is a dramatic difference in colour compared to your natural teeth. If you are unsure if you are a suitable candidate for whitening call our rooms on 9316 0555 for a complimentary consultation to see if this treatment is suitable for you.