What Is Involved In A Teeth Whitening Procedure?
Our custom home teeth whitening treatment can deliver fantastic benefits for our Chelmsford patients
Thanks in part to TV personalities and celebrities, most people are now familiar with the idea of having their teeth whitened professionally. Because these tend to be wealthier people, some patients might think that having whiter teeth is financially beyond their budget, but fortunately that’s not really the case.
This popular cosmetic dentistry treatment is one of the most affordable that we offer and also produces very significant improvements in the whiteness of your teeth, all without the need for any invasive dental work.
For a while, there were a significant number of ‘shops’ that appeared on the high street which provided this service, but these were largely unregulated and due to the inexperience of some staff, a number of people received poor care and suffered with burns to the gums or with their teeth permanently damaged. These outlets are now largely illegal and you should never consider using anyone other than a dentist or supervised dental professional to carry out this treatment.
What does the treatment involve?
At Blue Sky Dental, we provide our patients with a custom at home teeth whitening treatment which is simple to use and produces excellent results. This should not be confused with ‘at home’ kits that can be bought at some pharmacies or online. These are not custom designed for your teeth, are unlikely to produce the same results and may even cause some irritation in the mouth. This is because the trays are not custom made to fit your teeth securely and can cause the whitening gel to leak onto the gums.
The first stage of your treatment is to check that you are a suitable candidate. Most people are but, for example, if you are pregnant you might wish to delay the treatment until after your child is born. Whilst there is no evidence that it is unsafe for the unborn child, there has been insufficient research into this to be 100% sure. Another category of people who might request whiter teeth but are not ideal candidates are those whose teeth are cracked or chipped. Whilst there is usually no harm in this, an improved whiteness of the teeth may only serve to highlight these flaws. Veneers may be a better solution in this case and we will be pleased to discuss this with you.
Once a decision has been made, we will discuss the level of whiteness that you hope you achieve and adjust the treatment plan accordingly. We will then take impressions of your teeth and these will be used to make the trays into which the whitening gel will be placed. This is an important step as the custom made trays will fit securely and minimise any risk of the gel coming into contact with your gums, significantly reducing the risk of irritation.
Once the whitening trays have been returned to us, you will be recalled to our Chelmsford clinic and provided with the bleaching gel and instructions on how to it.
Generally, you will need to place the gel into the trays and wear them for a couple of hours or so each day for a couple of weeks. As they are designed to be comfortable, this is a perfect excuse to put your feet up and watch TV or read for a couple of hours.
How long does it take to work?
Naturally, this treatment needs to be safe and the strength of the gel means that the improvement is gradual; you won’t see improvements after one session for example. Most patients start to see a noticeable difference after about one week with the full results seen after two. The results will vary a little from person to person, but you can see an improvement of up to eight shades in the whiteness of your teeth once the treatment is completed.
Are there any side effects?
Most people don’t have any side effects at all but infrequently there maybe a temporary increase in the sensitivity of your teeth. This should return to normal quite quickly and we a gel available to help alleviate this in the interim.
How long do the results last?
This is difficult to predict and will depend to a large degree on your lifestyle. Someone who returns to drinking lots of tea or coffee and smokes heavily will find that the discoloration returns much faster than someone who does not. The results can last from a few months to a few years. We can give you an indication of how long you might expect it to last if you are honest with us about your daily habits.
What happens when my teeth start to discolour again?
Again, this will depend on each individual. Some people have this treatment as a ‘one off’, perhaps for a significant holiday or event such as a wedding, and may not be overly concerned about them returning to their former colour. That said, quite a few people who have experienced this difference do go on to maintain the whiteness, having been impressed at the difference it made to their smile. Other people prefer to maintain the whiteness and this tends to be in one of two ways. Either they wait for their teeth to return to normal and then have the treatment again, or they have more regular treatments with a milder gel to maintain a reasonably consistent level of whiteness. Our Blue Sky Dental team are always happy to discuss this with you and find a solution that fits in best with your lifestyle.
If you would like to read a little more about this treatment, you can find more information on the teeth whitening page of our website.
If you are ready to take the next step and would like our professional advice, why not arrange to have a free non clinical consultation at our Chelmsford dental clinic? You can book yours by calling us today on 01245 211070. We look forward to seeing you!