Tooth Whitening

Teeth Whitening

Tooth whitening can be a highly effective, yet very simple way, of lightening the colour of teeth without removing any of the tooth surface. Our tooth whitening experts at Saltdean Dental Health, are trained to offer you a first class service and achieve that bright, white smile you’ve always wanted.

Teeth Whitening

What does tooth whitening do?

Teeth can become stained or discoloured from frequently drinking tea, coffee and red wine and from smoking, taking certain antibiotics or can simply be part of the aging process. Plaque build-up, tartar, tooth decay, and nerve damage can also discolour teeth. Tooth whitening can be a highly effective, yet very simple way, of lightening the colour of teeth without removing any of the tooth surface.

In a living (non root-treated) tooth the whitening gel is applied into a specially made tray which fits into the mouth like a gum shield. The active whitening ingredient in the gel is normally hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.

If the tooth has been root treated, the canal, which previously contained the nerve, may be reopened and the whitening gel is put inside it. In both cases, the procedure needs to be repeated until the right shade is reached.

How long does it take?

Your dentist will need to make a bespoke custom fitted mouthguard and will need to take impressions for this at the first appointment. After approximately 2 weeks, your custom whitening trays will be ready to fit. Once your dentist has started the treatment, you will have to continue the treatment at home. This will mean applying the bleach regularly over 2-4 weeks for 3-4 hour at a time.

Will I be happy with the results?

Treatment results may vary depending on the original shade of the teeth. Teeth will tend to darken slightly over time. The effect lasts for around 1 to 3 years, although sometimes it can last longer. Some people find that their teeth are sensitive for the first few days after treatment, but this wears off after a short while.

What about over the counter home kits?

Over-the-counter kits are not recommended as they contain only a small amount of hydrogen peroxide which makes the product less effective. Some also contain mild acids, while others are abrasive. Although these products are cheaper, whitening is a complicated treatment procedure and should only be carried out by a dentist after a thorough examination and assessment of your teeth. It is very important to follow the instructions your dentist gives you, and to make sure that you go for any follow-up appointments recommended.

When might whitening not work?

Whitening works on natural teeth. It will not work on any type of ‘false’ teeth. This includes dentures, crowns and veneers and also white fillings. If dentures are stained or discoloured, it may be worth visiting the dentist and asking him or her to clean them. Stained veneers, crowns and dentures may need replacing. Again, ask your dentist.

What about whitening toothpaste?

There are now several whitening toothpastes you can buy. Although they do not affect the natural colour of the tooth, they are effective at removing staining and therefore improving the overall appearance of the tooth. Whitening toothpaste may also help to keep up the appearance, once teeth have been professionally whitened.