Your Questions answered
How to whiten teeth?
There are 3 main ways:
teeth whitening using custom made trays
teeth whitening strips
teeth whitening in the dental surgery for 1hour using a blue LED light (sometimes called laser whitening)
How Teeth Whitening Works
What is the best way to whiten teeth?
We are often asked "what is the best way to whiten teeth?"
In our opinion and according to experts in the field of teeth whitening, the best way to whiten teeth is by using custom made teeth whitening trays. If you are suitable for the procedure then impressions of your teeth are taken and close fitting trays are made which will hold the teeth whitening gel close to your teeth.
How long does it last?
For the majority of patients the effects last 2-3 years. After that the teeth can return to the pre-whitening shade. It is possible to re-lighten them using the same method and often using the same trays. The teeth lighten more quickly on subsequent occasions.
Am I suitable?
If you are over 18 years of age and have no allergy to peroxide products or plastics then teeth whitening is likely to be suitable for you. Teeth whitening will only lighten natural teeth; fillings, crowns and veneers will not be lightened. Yellowish, brownish stains whiten more easily than greyish discolouration. If you are pregnant then you should also avoid teeth whitening.
What does the procedure involve for Custom Tray Whitening?
At your first appointment we take a digital scan of your teeth (no messy impressions!) so that special close-fitting plastic trays can be made for you. We note the colour of your teeth, take some photographs and sometimes x-rays as well. At your second appointment we check the fit of the trays and show you how to use the teeth whitening gel. You wear the trays with the gel for up to 2 hours per day and the treatment takes 2-3 weeks. We see you after 2 weeks to check that everything is going well. Once you have finished you keep your trays and can do top-up whitening for special occasions.
How long will it take?
Teeth whitening works best when your teeth have yellow or brownish stains- the type of staining that has come from tea, coffee, red wine and similar foods and drinks. Whitening generally takes 2-3 weeks. Grey teeth are more difficult to whiten and whitening time can be considerably longer.
What’s in the gel?
In the vast majority of cases we use 10% carbamide peroxide gel but stronger gels of 16% carbamide peroxide and 6% hydrogen peroxide are also available. The in-office Beam LED lamp uses 6% hydrogen peroxide in a special formulation. This is applied to the teeth for 15 minutes, three times. The procedure takes around and hour. This is strong enough to lighten the teeth effectively and is safe. It does not weaken or damage the teeth. Some people may develop sensitivity while whitening but this is temporary and disappears when you stop whitening.