CAUSES OF DISCOLOURATION
There are many causes of tooth discolouration. The most common include; age, staining from coffee, tea, colas and tobacco, trauma, nerve degeneration and old restorations.
BENEFITS OF WHITENING
Almost anyone can benefit from this treatment. However, there are some occasions when the treatment may not be effective, we will advise where treatment is viable by examining your mouth.
At your first visit we take an impression to make a clear plastic "tray" that fits over your teeth. On the second visit whitening gel is applied over your teeth. Oxygen from the gel then enters the enamel and dentine and bleaches the coloured substances. The structure of the tooth is not changed, only the tooth colour is lightened. You then take home the tray with a dilute (10%) chemical to be worn once a day for 45 minutes. Its important not to put too much gel in the tray, but what gel there is has to be in contact with dry tooth. So its necessary to swallow your saliva prior to placing the tray in place. The wearing of the tray at home is sometimes called "walking bleaching" as you can walk around and get on with your usual life.
Research confirms that 10% carbamide peroxide provides the best balance of whitening/longevity/sensitivity. It has also been shown that bright lights/lasers offer no additional benefit so we do not use such. Patients must be compliant with wearing the trays at home, some people experience temporary increased tooth sensitivity to cold during the treatment. These symptoms should however disappear within 1 - 3 days. The teeth will always be lighter than they were; however some patients may need periodic re-whitening for every one - two years, especially if there is continued use of caffeine or tobacco products.
Our quoted fee is per arch, inclusive of surgery time, lab constructed tray and initial supply of chemicals. Tooth whitening is never a NHS service as the taxpayer does not subsidise cosmetic treatments.