Tooth whitening can be a highly effective way of removing staining from teeth through chemical means. It cannot make a complete colour change but it can lighten the existing shade. It is a safe procedure when carried out under professional supervision. There are a number of reasons why you might get your teeth whitened, everyone is different just as our hair and skin colour varies, so do our teeth. Your teeth can be stained on the surface through food and drink, especially tea, coffee, red wine and blackcurrant. Over the years, this gets into the structure of the enamel and it is this deep staining that can only be removed by professional whitening. Smoking also stains teeth. Calculus and tartar can also affect the colour of your teeth so it's important to have regular hygiene visits to prevent this.
Professional bleaching is the most common form of Tooth Whitening. The 'active ingredient' in the product is usually hydrogen peroxide. As the active ingredient is broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel on the teeth and the tooth colour is made lighter. The treatment must be supervised, and your Dentist will be able to tell you if you are suitable for the treatment. If so we will need to make you a mouth guard by taking impressions of your mouth, you are then shown how to apply the whitening gel to the specially constructed tray, so you can continue treatment at home. We recommend using the whitening trays over a period of at least two weeks allowing the desired result to be achieved. It is not unusual to experience some sensitivity, but using Sensodyne toothpaste inside the tray is often enough to combat this.
Tooth Whitening is not available on the NHS so is a private treatment option. You can have the upper or lower arch of teeth whitened or both or a single discoloured tooth can be treated with internal bleaching.