Tooth whitening has become one of the most popular ways to enhance your smile. It provides a safe and proven way to lighten the shade of your teeth.
About Tooth Whitening
Whitening is a procedure where tooth discolouration is ‘whitened’ to a lighter shade through chemical means. It is a safe procedure when carried out under professional dental supervision. The General Dental Council (GDC) has identified that tooth whitening is part of the practice of dentistry, and dentistry must only be carried out by dental professionals who are registered with them.
We strongly advise that you only have your teeth whitened by a dental professional. It is against the law to carry out the business of dentistry when not regulated by the GDC.
Tooth whitening is a safe procedure if carried out by a qualified dental professional. At Queensway Dental Clinic you can be sure our tooth whitening treatments are evidence based to provide a safe and proven way to lighten the shade of your teeth.
Treatment time and results usually depend on the severity of the discolouration. Both vital (i.e. live) and non-vital teeth (i.e. teeth with root fillings) can be bleached and may take several visits to complete. It is not effective on dental restorations such as amalgam fillings, metal or porcelain crowns, veneers etc. However, we can advise on the options for replacing restorations after whitening to complete your smile make over.
Tooth Whitening Options
At Queensway Dental Clinic, we aim to offer you a full range of whitening treatments, tailored to meet your individual requirements. We provide a number of treatments, including home/tray based tooth whitening and internal tooth whitening.
We offer a range of tooth whitening options so our patients have the choice – based on the recommendation from our dental professionals – to make an informed decision.
Home Tooth Whitening
Tray-based tooth whitening
When you choose tray based home tooth whitening you’ll need an initial consultation with your dentist, who will carry out a thorough examination and be able to tell you if you are suitable for home tooth whitening treatments. Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth, which are then used to produce trays made of a soft vinyl rubber.
The trays are tailored to fit the exact contours of your teeth and are specially moulded to fit into your mouth like a gum shield. This allows home tooth whitening gel to contact closely with your enamel to produce an all over, consistent, whiter smile. (Ready made trays from other home tooth whitening products don’t allow the close contact required to create such even results.)
The next step in the home tooth whitening procedure is a 30 minute assessment with your dentist who will provide you with your first treatment and will inform you how to use the trays at home. Your dentist will provide you with whitening solutions for home use, as well as your custom made trays, and will be able to answer any questions you have about home tooth whitening. You will be advised on the best period of time to wear the trays to achieve the desired results. You can be assured with this method of tooth-whitening that you will receive predictable and long-lasting results.
WhiteWash™ professional whitening strips
WhiteWash™ professional whitening strips are mouldable plastic strips which contain the optimum amount of whitening gel to simply, safely and effectively whiten your teeth. With a unique gentle whitening formulation which helps to limit tooth sensitivity, these enamel-safe professional whitening strips are designed to follow the contour of your teeth, enabling you to safely and comfortably achieve whiter teeth by applying the strips for 60+ minutes once a day for 14 days. Whitening strips are available in a specially presented pack with a whitening toothpaste and tooth brush. It should be noted that whitening strips are only effective for use by some patients and your dentist will discuss this with you in your initial consultation after a clinical examination.
Internal Tooth Whitening
Internal tooth whitening is a particular type of tooth whitening treatment specially designed for a discoloured front tooth, which has previously had a root canal treatment.
Once your dentist is satisfied that the tooth is a suitable candidate for internal tooth whitening, a small hole will be created in the back of your tooth and the top of the root canal filling exposed. An impervious lining will be placed over this and then a special whitening gel will be carefully placed into the tooth. A tooth coloured filling material will be used to close the hole. Your dentist may also recommend external tooth whitening alongside internal tooth whitening to receive an optimum result.
Normally your dentist will assess your tooth one or two days after your internal tooth whitening treatment. It is common for the gel to require replacement two or three times to achieve the required whitening effect. In some cases it is not possible to completely lighten the tooth to match its neighbours. Your dentist will discuss other treatment options with you if this is the case.
Once your tooth is whitened, a light tooth coloured permanent filling will be placed in the hole to seal the tooth.
What causes tooth discolouration?
The habitual consumption of red wine, coffee, tea, cola, carrots, oranges and other deeply-coloured beverages and foods causes considerable staining over the years. In addition, acidic foods such as citrus fruits and vinegar contribute to enamel erosion. As a result, the surface becomes more transparent and more of the yellow-coloured dentine shows through.
Nicotine leaves brownish deposits which slowly soak into the tooth structure and cause intrinsic discolouration.
Tetracycline usage during tooth formation produces dark grey or brown ribbon stains which are very difficult to remove. Excessive consumption of fluoride causes fluorosis and associated areas of white mottling. This type of discolouration is difficult, but not impossible to treat. It may take months or anything up to a year to achieve results with a supervised home bleaching regime.
Falls and other injuries can produce sizable cracks in the teeth, which collect large amounts of stains and debris.
There is a direct correlation between tooth colour and age. Over the years, teeth darken as a result of wear and tear and stain accumulation. Teenagers can achieve immediate, dramatic results from whitening. In the twenties, as the teeth begin to show a yellow cast, teeth-whitening may require a little more effort. By the forties, the yellow gives way to brown and more maintenance may be called for. By the fifties, the teeth have absorbed a host of stubborn stains which can prove difficult (but not impossible) to remove.
We are all equipped with an inborn tooth color that ranges from yellow-brownish to greenish-grey, and intensifies over time. Yellow-brown is generally more responsive to bleaching than green-grey.
Most frequently caused by stress, teeth grinding (gnashing, bruxing, etc.) can add to micro-cracking in the teeth and can cause the biting edges to darken.
To allow you to make an informed decision whether teeth whitening is the right choice for you, we are offering new patients a free tooth whitening consultation with a dentist.
At the consultation you will receive a bespoke treatment plan with teeth whitening options and costs. Working together, we can help you to make informed decisions about your mouth, your teeth and your smile.
Call 01642 554667 or use our online form.