Teeth can become stained or discoloured from frequently drinking tea and/or coffee, from smoking, from drinking red wines, from antibiotics or can simply be part of the aging process. Plaque build-up to tartar, tooth decay, and nerve damage can also discolour teeth. Tooth whitening is a method used by dentists to improve the colour of teeth to natural whiteness and health through a bleaching process.
Q- Who needs tooth whitening treatment?
Anyone who has yellow, brown or purple stained teeth can consider tooth whitening to brighten their teeth to their natural shade of white. If your teeth have plaque, are decaying with nerve damage, you can see our resident dentist for advice on dental treatments and oral hygiene, while also learning more about tooth whitening that can progress you to a better looking and healthier you.
Q – What tooth whitening treatments are available?
The tooth whitening options are easily purchased self-applied home-kits or professional bleaching by a dentist through internal and external whitening. Teeth whitening or bleaching home-kits can be bought from your local pharmacy or online. However, this isn’t necessarily the solution because your natural teeth may continue to discolour for dental or medical health reasons. You are also at risk of over-bleaching, chemical burns and tooth and gum sensitivity with these self-applied home-kits. Seeing our resident dentist can help you identify the cause of your teeth discolouration, so that the most appropriate dental care and tooth whitening treatment can be identified.
Q – What happens during tooth whitening treatment?
Tooth whitening products contain hydrogen or carbamide peroxide and are applied to the teeth as a gel or paste via a gum shield or tray fitted to your teeth. Oxygen is released into the teeth enamel as these chemicals disintegrate, and this process is what lightens the teeth. Home-kits work on a similar basis, but teeth whitening results can take longer. The more peroxide used can cause damage to the teeth and gums, so it is important to consult a dentist about the bleaching kits you are using and frequency of use to identify potential harm to your mouth..
External professional whitening is when a dentist places the bleaching agent on the outer part of the tooth via a rubber mouth tray that also protects the gums. These may include OTC kits (safe home-type kits), power laser treatments, or a combination of both. Internal professional bleaching is for patients who have had successful root treatment for removal of damaged nerve. The bleaching agent is put inside a drilled hole in the affected tooth and sealed. Other lightening techniques can also be used on the tooth after treatment.
Q – Is tooth whitening painful?
Tooth whitening is not painful if done by a skilled dentist that takes care in the amount of peroxide used with a rubber gum tray to protect the gum. In internal bleaching, there is no need because the damaged nerve has been removed, so no pain is felt during the bleaching process. If patients feel discomfort at the idea of tooth whitening, a sedative can be administered to help patients relax and feel at ease during the procedure.
Q – Who does the tooth whitening procedure?
Our resident dentist will meet with you to examine your teeth and gums and discuss your tooth whitening needs and options. Once you have decided on a teeth whitening procedure, our resident dentist will book an appointment for you where your teeth will be bleached to their whiter more natural shade that you can feel proud of.
Q – How do I care for my teeth after tooth whitening treatment?
Tooth whitening treatment may make you more conscious of avoiding the things that can discolour your teeth, such as excessive coffee drinking and smoking. You should maintain recommended oral hygiene standards as usual and keep seeing our resident dentist for regular check-ups of your gums and teeth.
Q – When should one avoid tooth whitening treatment?
Conditions like tooth decay and gum disease should be treated before tooth whitening is considered, because the bleaching agents can irritate the damaged parts of the teeth and gum and prevent healing. When teeth are stained from antibiotics use, certain bleaching agents may not work, so it is important to discuss your medical history and medication intake with our resident dentist. Women who are pregnant or breast feeding should avoid tooth whitening because of the possible effect of the bleaching agent on the developing child. Bleaching is also not advised for crowns, false teeth or veneers, because these options have different techniques for cleaning and replacement that our resident dentist can also explain to you.
Q – How long does tooth whitening last?
The whitening effect on your teeth is dependent on your overall health, oral hygiene, life-style choices, diet, and the type of tooth whitening treatment used. Some tooth whitening treatments have whitening effects for up to three years. Our resident dentist can give you information on what to expect for duration of whiteness for each type of tooth whitening treatment available.
Q – What alternatives are there to tooth whitening?
Alternatives to teeth whitening are slightly abrasive whitening toothpastes, whitening sugar-free chewing gum, natural-looking tooth crowns and veneers, and having teeth scaled and polished by our resident dentist.
Q – What are the costs for tooth whitening?
When visiting our practice, our resident dentist can advise you on the cost of tooth whitening treatment appropriate for you and also what price payment plans are available.
The cost does depend on the type of tooth whitening procedure, and also on any pre-dental treatments that may be needed
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What could be simpler? Spread the cost of your treatment over a months or years.
With Aldridge dental practice finance you only pay for the treatment you actually receive, this allows you to afford improved dental care for you or your family whenever it is needed.