Teeth whitening treatments are one of our most popular, and can be a very effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface. There are a number of reasons why you might want to get your teeth whitened. Everyone is different; and just as our hair and skin colour vary, so do our teeth. Very few people have brilliant-white teeth, and our teeth can also become more discoloured as we get older. Your teeth can also be stained on the surface by food and drinks such as tea, coffee, red wine and blackcurrant. Therefore, teeth whitening is a brilliant way to give us a nice, white smile which we may not naturally have. It is also a something people like to have done for a special occasion.
Here some of the questions people commonly ask about teeth whitening.
How do teeth whitening treatments work?
The whitening gel that is used contains an ‘active ingredient’ which is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. As the active ingredient is broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel on the teeth and the tooth colour is made lighter. The gel is placed over the teeth, which is held in place by custom made trays.
How many appointments will I need?
You will need a minimum of 2, depending on which whitening system you choose. Following an initial consultation appointment, the first visit will involve taking impressions of your teeth so that the custom made trays can be made. Once these are ready you will have come back to receive the whitening treatment.
What types of teeth whitening treatments do you offer?
We offer a few different whitening treatments. The first is the home whitening system where you apply the whitening gel to your teeth overnight using your custom made trays. You can do this as many times as you like, until your desired shade is achieved.
We also offer the Zoom whitening where a special lamp is used to speed up the bleaching process. This is performed during a 2 hour appointment, and you will have the option of also using the home whitening system to top up the whitening effect as and when necessary.
The third option is the Enlighten teeth whitening treatment. This will also involve home whitening, but using the enlighten gel which is one of the best on the market. You will need to wear the trays with the gel in for 14 consecutive days then you will return to the practice for a 1 hour whitening power treatment to give it a final boost. Again, you will keep the trays to top up at home as and when needed.
Boutique is another premium whitening system we offer, but instead of the trays being made from impressions taken of the teeth, they are actually made using a digital scan. You then get the boutique gel, another really top of the range highly active product that you apply at home to the custom made trays, as you would with the other home whitening systems.
Here are some before and after pictures of whitening using the Zoom system:
How long will the whitening treatments last for?
The effects of whitening are thought to last for around 1 year. However, this will vary from person to person. The effect is less likely to last as long if you smoke, or eat or drink products that can stain your teeth. To maintain the colour we recommend topping up at home using the trays and gel every 3 months.
Are there any side effects?
Some people may find that their teeth become sensitive to cold during or after the treatment. Others may have discomfort in the gums, a sore throat or white patches on the gum line. These symptoms are usually temporary and should disappear within a few days of the treatment finishing. Sensitivity can be lessened by using Sensodyne toothpaste or similar.
Will the whitening treatments damage my teeth?
No, teeth whitening gel will NOT damage or harm your teeth. The main portion of the tooth, the dentin, is the portion of the tooth that’s responsible for your teeth’s colour, so there is no harm done at all to the enamel.
How much will it cost?
Depending on the package you go for, prices range from £200-£550.
I can get home kits much cheaper, why shouldn’t I just use those?
The DIY home kits are much less effective than whitening carried out by a dentist as they contain a much lower level of bleaching agent. Also, they can carry risks. The trays contained in these kits are a one size fits all so there is the risk of the whitening gel leaking out onto your gums, or even into your mouth which can cause it to blister. Saliva can also get inside the trays, making the gel inactive. Any home kit comes with the risk of permanently damaging your teeth, so we believe it is worth paying more to ensure this doesn’t happen.
Who can perform teeth whitening?
Only registered dentists, dental therapists and dental hygienists working to the prescription of a dentist are legally allowed to perform teeth whitening. Beauty salons are only legally allowed to offer the service if there is a dentist present. To have your teeth whitened by someone who is not a registered dental professional could harm your oral health. Also, if something goes wrong in these cases then there is no valid insurance, so you would not be eligible for compensation.
Am I a suitable candidate for teeth whitening?
- You’ll need to be 18 or over to have teeth whitening
- Your teeth and gums must be healthy, which the dentist will check during your initial consultation
- It’s best to delay having your teeth whitened if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, because it’s not clear whether the whitening products can affect the baby
- Be aware that teeth whitening won’t lighten the colour of any crowns, veneers, bridges or dentures
If your dentist decides you’re not suitable for teeth whitening, you could consider veneers or crowns for any particularly discoloured or damaged teeth. For further information on whitening in general, follow this link https://www.dentalhealth.org/tooth-whitening or for further information about whitening treatments we offer at the practice follow this link; https://www.cheadlehulmedental.com/treatment/manchester-teeth-whitening.html
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