Staining of the teeth can be a result of many factors. Some are attributed to lifestyle whilst others are unexplainable.    The most common causes of staining are:

  • Smoking
  • Tea / Coffee
  • Red wine
  • Ageing

Whitening is ideal for patients who want a whiter, brighter more confident smile without having the teeth drilled.  After a thorough examination of the teeth and gums - to rule out any dental disease, we are able to begin the whitening process.

What is involved in whitening my teeth?

The whitening process involves two appointments.  At the first appointment we take impressions of your teeth to prepare a custom made whitening stents.   We will record the colour of your existing teeth, this gives us an idea on whether your teeth will whiten and if so how white are they likely to end up.  If your teeth need to be professionally cleaned this is best done before whitening is commenced.

The second appointment is scheduled approximately two to seven days after the initial appointment. At the second appointment we may polish your teeth to remove any new surface stain.  This allows a faster and more effective result from the home whitening system.  The custom made whitening splints and home whitening kit are prepared and a detailed explanation of their use is given by the dentist or dental hygienist.  Over a 14 day period (on average) the home whitening system is worn for 30 minutes morning and night, or as otherwise advised.

A third appointment is sometimes necessary re-assess the whiteness achieved and plan any further dental work.  Sometimes the whitening must continue over a longer period or a different whitening gel needs to be used to achieve an improved result.  When your teeth start to re-stain in the future (they will always get darker again if the discolouring agents are still being used) you can simply undertake a few more sessions of the home whitening system.  Keep the stents as they can be used for many years.   We have top up gel kits available at a reasonable price. This top-up may need to be done every 6- 12 months.

How is Whitening achieved?

Over a period of time stains will penetrate into the first few layers of the enamel (outer shell) of your teeth. This stain is unable to be removed by brushing or polishing the teeth.  The whitening gel safely penetrates the first few micro-millimeters of enamel and draws the stain out, restoring the tooth enamel to its natural whiteness and brightness.

Will it Work for Me?

The whitening process will allow your teeth to whiten as much as your teeth will naturally allow. In most cases of staining where the discolouration has occurred from external sources (wine / smoking) the whitening process is very successful.   In cases where the staining is from deep inside the tooth the success rate is reduced, unfortunately there is no sure fire way to predict what the whitening result will be.

Problems?

Tooth sensitivity is the most common problem encountered.  If you have generally sensitive teeth we may need to spread out the whitening into a longer time frame or we can provide de-sensitising agents such as ToothMousse to desensitise between whitening sessions.

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