Tooth whitening is always the first line of cosmetic treatment as it is largely safe, comfortable and involves minimal intervention and can offer an instant result.
There are two ways to achieve tooth whitening: In surgery or at home
This can be ideal for patients who do not want to wear at-home trays for too long. With ZOOM in-house whitening we can achieve fantastic instant results but the patient would still need to continue at-home whitening for a week to achieve the best outcome.
Before any whitening procedure all patients are seen for a FREE no-obligation consultation where the pros and cons of the procedure are discussed. Only qualified dental personnel can undertake whitening procedures.
In surgery whitening
You will need to see the dentist for a 2 hour appointment.
Initially, impressions are taken so we can produce trays for you to continue at-home whitening at the end of the procedure.
We always advise patients to bring their own favourite music and headphones so they can sit back and relax. The procedure may take 1 ½ hours so comfort and relaxation are paramount.
Once the moulds are completed, the dentist will talk the patient through the procedure again so there is full understanding of the procedure and an opportunity to ask any further questions.
During the treatment the mouth is comfortably open to allow application of gel to the teeth. The ultraviolet light is positioned to allow light and gel to work together thereby breaking up stains and discolouration on the teeth.
The gel is then washed away and the procedure is repeated 3 or 4 times.
Some sensitivity may be experienced during the procedure and also warmth from the lamp.
The gel is then finally washed away leaving brighter and whiter teeth.
The dentist will provide aftercare instructions along with trays so you can continue the procedure at home to achieve an optimal result. The ZOOM in-house procedure has kick-started the whitening process BUT you still need to continue at home for 4-5 days.
Designed for patients who may have some sensitivity to having in-surgery whitening and do not mind wearing trays for a longer duration of 6-8 weeks.
Just like in-surgery whitening, moulds are taken to allow whitening trays to be constructed.
You will then require a second appointment to collect the trays, tooth whitening solutions and instructions. Your dentist will show you how to carry out the procedure safely at home, with the dentist actually placing gel in trays for your first 30 minute session to begin as you depart the surgery.
You then simply complete the procedure at home, which involves applying the gel to the trays and wearing for approximately 30 min per day.
Please note that whitening results vary between patients and for some more whitening packs need to be purchased to allow expectations to be met.
To maintain freshness, most patients wish to repeat tooth whitening for 12 months. Top up packs are available at the practice.
Whitening issues are discussed in more detail at your consultation although below is a brief summary of issues that may arise.
1) In minor cases sensitivity can make whitening uncomfortable so the practice can provide de-sensitiser gels to be worn in the trays to alleviate any discomfort. Brushing with de-sensitiser toothpastes can also help.
2) If patients have recession, the receeded area can become sensitive so the use of de-sensitisers can help.
3) Any artificial tooth such as a veneer, crown or composite will not lighten.
4) Further to point 3), any cosmetic improvement may warrant replacing restorations on existing teeth after the whitening procedure.
5) Some parts of the tooth can be slow to whiten or do not whiten to same degree as the rest of the tooth due to the shape and extent of discolouration.
6) Some parts of the tooth enamel may be defective so the whitening result may be unpredictable.