What is tooth whitening and how does it work?
Tooth whitening systems employ hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide which penetrates teeth and targets molecules within teeth that cause darkening and stains. The bleaching agent then breaks down these staining molecules, which causes your teeth to become whiter.
What types of bleaching systems are available?
Professional in chair systems use light activation to whiten your teeth. While this method is effective and relatively quick, it can cause severe sensitivity if not managed correctly.
Professional take home kits offer the flexibility of being able to bleach your teeth at any time with the added benefit of reduced sensitivity. This method of whitening your teeth involves taking moulds of your teeth and fabrication of a custom bleach tray for you. A professional bleaching kit is ordered in for you and instructions for use are given. We usually recommend using this for around 2 weeks to see maximum results.
Will bleaching damage my teeth?
No. Professional bleaching does not damage your teeth. The bleaching agent targets staining in the teeth and does not affect the structural integrity of your teeth. However, it can cause sensitivity during and after treatment. This is a transient effect and the use of a sensitive toothpaste can help relieve sensitivity.
Why should I go to a dentist for bleaching?
Bleaching agents used in dental clinics contain a higher concentration of active bleaching agents which means better results faster. Similarly, your dentist will also be able to determine if you are suitable for bleaching. This often requires a comprehensive check-up prior to ensure that your teeth are in tip top shape.
Teeth whitening is usually performed after all other dental treatment is completed – we do not advocate going to “teeth whitening” centres as any tooth-related issues cannot be addressed at these centres. In addition, if there are any spots of decay, bleaching your teeth first can cause extreme sensitivity of the decayed tooth.
I’ve seen those adverts for a portable blue light bleaching system, what’s up with that?
Research has shown that these portable systems aren’t powerful enough to be effective. Light activation bleaching requires a very powerful output which cannot be achieved through a battery operated device.
If you have any further questions to ask about teeth whitening, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a discussion.