Why not make an appointment for a Tooth Whitening assessment? We can give you some idea of how white your teeth could really be. Your smile is important. It’s one of the first things you notice when you meet someone. A whiter, brighter smile is beautiful – it can help you feel better about yourself and make a memorable impression. Your lifestyle and the ageing process can stain and darken your teeth. Many things we do on a regular basis can contribute to stained teeth, such as drinking coffee, tea, cola and red wine or smoking. Whitening can get your smile looking its best.
You should look for a whitening procedure that is:
- Fast and convenient
- Long lasting
- Low sensitivity
- Proven to be safe and effective
- Performed by a Dental Professional
Tooth whitening can be described as any procedure that whitens the appearance of the teeth. The actual technique used depends on what results the patient requires, the condition of their teeth, the age of the patient, and their lifestyle.
What discolours teeth in the first place?
Many factors are involved, and these can be divided into external and internal factors. External factors are primarily dietary or lifestyle in cause i.e Tea, Coffee, Red Wine, Smoking, Chewing Tobacco.
Internal factors are the natural colour of the teeth, which can be affected by an antibiotic called Tetracycline (only if taken before 12 years of age),dead teeth or decay and ageing. Chalky patches (mottling) of the teeth is caused by childhood diseases such as measles, and fluorosis. Discoloured fillings are best thought of as ‘internal’.
Treatment Options (This is a guide ONLY)
External stains: A scale and polish will remove the vast majority of these stains. Good quality (i.e. Sonicare or Braun 3-D Deluxe) toothbrushes will also remove stains.
- Tetracycline staining: Mild: Leave. Moderate to severe: Porcelain Veneers.
- Decay: Remove decay and restore with tooth coloured filling.
- Dead teeth (usually following trauma). A root filling is required, with or without internal bleaching or veneer or a crown.
- Ageing related discolouration: External Tooth Bleaching (see below)
- Mottling: Severe: Veneers. Mild to Moderate: Microabrasion. (see below)
Take home whitening kits
Patients can also use the take home kits, these use a chemical to break down stains beneath the surface of the tooth. The technique used here involves taking an impression for the construction of close fitting trays into which the patient applies the bleaching gel and then wears the trays. Very successful for ageing related discolouration. The darker the teeth are, the bigger difference the patient notices. If the patient has any fillings on their front teeth, these will have to be replaced after treatment. Usually lasts 2 years. A lifestyle heavy in external staining factors will significantly reduce this length of time.
Involves removing the surface layers of enamel by a process of etching, micro-fine diamond burs and abrasive polishing. Only the minimum amount of enamel is removed. Occasionally a deep penetration of mottling may require a tooth coloured composite filling for best results.