What is Tooth Whitening?
Tooth whitening is the broad term for any non-invasive treatment that lightens the colour of your teeth. Various products are used to produce this effect, the most common being peroxide. The whitening solution removes molecules from food or debris that darken the colour of your teeth.
Teeth whitening treatments take a two-pronged approach: they remove both surface stains and penetrate beneath the surface to improve the colour of your natural teeth. Modern teeth whitening treatments used in a professional setting do not cause damage to your teeth
Delve deeper into modern methods of teeth whitening by reading some of our educational articles.
Our Teeth Whitening Technology
Many of our patients are pleasantly surprised to learn that they’ll receive noticeable results after just one teeth whitening treatment. However, depending on the current colour of your teeth and how much of a difference you’d like to see, you may require more than one treatment.
At Sydney Road Dental Care, we offer two options for professional teeth whitening: in-chair or at-home.
In-Chair Teeth Whitening
Sydney Road Dental Care offers two of the best teeth whitening machines available: the Philips Zoom! and SmartBleach 3LT.
Our professional teeth whitening process takes as little as two hours or less to complete. Prior to beginning your treatment, we review the depth of staining, sensitivity, and the overall health of your teeth. This allows us to tailor our treatment to help you get the best results.
In some cases, we may also provide you with take-home treatments to give your whiter teeth a “refresher” as needed.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
Many of our patients who value convenience and their time or have extremely sensitive teeth may opt for a take-home teeth whitening option. We’ve selected the SDI Pola Day, which will brighten your smile in as little as 14 days and rival the results of our in-office treatment.
These take-home whitening kits include custom-made trays and professional-grade whitening. This is an affordable alternative; however, it also takes longer to start seeing results.
Professional Teeth Whitening vs At-Home Kits
Regardless of whether you choose in-office teeth whitening or one of our take-home options, you should know that both provide similar professional results. The same cannot be expected for commercially available at-home teeth whitening.
For starters, these kits usually contain a less concentrated peroxide solution, which means you will require many more treatments than what you’d need in a professional setting. Also, products provided by a dentist are more effective at penetrating deeper stains and will not cause damage to your teeth. These products are held to a very high standard above minimum requirements and have been found to be safe and effective.
Cost of Teeth Whitening
One of the first questions we receive from many of our patients is: “How much does teeth whitening cost?”
The answer depends on a few factors, including whether you opt for an in-chair treatment vs. a take-home kit, the number of treatments required, and more. When you schedule a consultation, we can discuss costs based on your selected treatment.
We aim to make teeth whitening an affordable service for every patient. Because teeth whitening is purely cosmetic, it is not usually covered by dental insurance plans. However, we do offer patient payment plans to help make teeth whitening treatments to reduce your upfront out-of-pocket expenses.
Is teeth whitening safe?
Clinical studies have shown that should the correct procedural guidelines be followed and patient suitability assessed appropriately, teeth whitening using carbamide or hydrogen peroxide administered by a dental practitioner is safe for teeth and gums.
Nonetheless, common side effects can include sensitivity and irritation of the gums, lips and tongue, most of which dissipate within the first 1-2 days. Patients have frequently voiced that In-Chair Whitening can be particularly stingy during the appointment and in the following evening, usually resolving with over-the-counter pain killers by the next day.
Teeth Whitening before and after
Here are a selection of before and after procedure shots. Our patients in this gallery have all had in chair whitening, and in some cases have opted for veneers to achieve their perfect smiles.
Does Teeth Whitening Always Work?
Not necessarily. If your teeth have dense brown or grey tones, whitening products may not produce satisfying results.
Besides, teeth whitening works only on natural teeth; it won’t be effective against stained fillings, crowns, or veneers.
Whenever in doubt, it’s better to book an in-office whitening session. We can tell you whether the treatment will be useful or not before starting
How long does teeth whitening last for?
Professional tooth whitening can be expected to last anywhere from 6 months to 3 years. Similarly, to the initial staining, subsequent staining post whitening is also subject to the frequency and quantity of staining food and drink, as well as lifestyle factors such as smoking.
It is recommended to reduce as many staining factors as possible to extend the longevity of your whitening.
Why do I need teeth whitening?
Professional tooth whitening is used either on its own, or as an adjunct to cosmetic treatment. Most often we find that patients with minimal health concerns will express an interest in tooth whitening after noticing some discolouration following a period of heavy coffee drinking.
In this case, we often provide In-Chair Whitening or Take-Home Whitening kits with minimal additional treatment. On the other hand, we also recommend professional tooth whitening to increase the likelihood of achieving a cosmetic result in circumstances such as smile makeovers.
This may be prior to composite or porcelain veneers as, to achieve the best aesthetic result, the foundation of the tooth must be as light and as free of discolouration as possible. As with all cosmetic procedures, we are guided by your end goal in mind, and will recommend professional tooth whitening accordingly.
What is the process for booking in teeth whitening?
To ensure the best cosmetic result and maintain the health of your teeth, a consultation with the dentist is mandatory prior to any whitening treatment. During this consultation, the dentist will assess the health of your teeth and gums, depth and type of staining, and what your expected result may be. They will recommend a whitening system based on your particular case. Following this appointment, we always recommend a thorough clean – we want to be whitening your teeth not the plaque on top!
Should you wish to proceed with whitening, we either take impressions for your custom-made trays on the day, or book you in for a separate In-Chair Whitening appointment on a different day. Your custom-made trays as part of the Take-Home Whitening kit are usually available within the next several business days for pick-up.
How to Avoid Tooth Discolouration
We believe prevention is the best defence against tooth discolouration. Once you receive your teeth whitening treatment, there are many things you can do to maintain your teeth’s “fresher” appearance. These include:
Avoid consuming dark beverages, such as dark wine, coffee, tea, and soda, or immediately brush your teeth afterward
Avoid foods that may stain teeth, including berries, chocolate, citrus fruits, colourful spices like curry, turmeric, and paprika, and red sauces
Milk and dark chocolate
Stop smoking or using tobacco products
Your dentist will provide more specific instructions to follow immediately after your treatment, as well as general maintenance tips.
Find out more about other cosmetic dentistry services offered by Sydney Road Dental Care
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