A brighter smile with teeth whitening

Teeth whitening is by far becoming one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments available, not surprsingly since it is one of the quickest treatments (rapid whitening can be achieved in as little as 45 minutes) that almost anyone can benefit from. Teeth whitening is also a relatively pain-free proceedure compared to more invasive treatments to brighten your smile such as porcelain dental veneers. Tooth whitening can be performed using either a specially designed light source or without it. It is a mater of debate as to if the light / laser makes any difference to the outcome and many dentists argue that it does not. If a light source is used it is usually a "laser" or halogen lamp which can get quite hot. This is used in combnation with a special bleaching or whitening gel.

What causes teeth to darken and become stained?

Some people are born or generically have have naturally dark teeth but teeth can also become discoloured with the aging process over time. Smoking is well known for giving individuals yellow or badly stained teeth, other cuplrits are staining toods such as curry and beverages such as tea, coffee and red wine. Certain antibiotics can also stain your teeth (tetracyline antibiotics) and this may be difficult to reverse with normal whitening products, however some whitening systems such as enlighten whitening claims to offer a deep bleaching which can even whiten tetracyline stained teeth.

A confident smile has been shown to enhance lifestyle both at home work and socially, this in addition to media attention on the perfect smile has created a large demand for teeth whitening treatments in the UK.

Teeth whitening – the procedure

Every tooth bleaching process uses a special gel which contains the active ingredient hydrogen peroxide or something similar, the concentration of the active compound varies in different systems but can be upto 35%. More advanced systems can achieve the same whiteing results with lower strength products.

There are many different brands of teeth whitening systems available on the market including Britesmile, Polar, Enlighten and Zoom as featured on extreeme makeover and endorsed by the world famous cosmetic dentist Bill Dorfman. Every system is different in its own way and dentiets choose to use one system over another for various reasons which they can discuss with your at your consultation.

Your cosmetic dentist ususally applies the bleaching gel to your teeth ensuring that your gums, lips and surrounding soft tissues are protected from the gel. It is the oxygen from the active ingredient within the bleaching gel that penetrates the tooth’s enamel surface and bleaches your teeth without damaging the structure of your teeth. If a light is used to "activate" the gel then this will be left on during your treatment

Many dentists recomend that you use a combination of home whitening kits in addition to the in suregery whitening for optimal results.

How long does the teeth whitening process take?

The treatment can be done in as little as 45 minutes but if you are using a home whitening kit then results are usually seen over a peroid of 2 to 3 weeks.

How long will tooth whitening last?

the answer to this squestion depends upon many factors such as diet, if you smoke, if you drink tea or coffee and what yiur oral hygiene program is like. One of the major side effects of tooth whitening is that it can increase the sensitivity of your teeth so it is advisable to avoid very hot and also very cold drinks or food shortly after your treatment.

What does teeth whitening cost?

Teeth whitening prices vary from clinic to clinic and also vary between the different systems used. Prices in the UK can be from as little as £99 up to £900+ so be sure to get a quotation before going ahead with the procedure