Whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures. Whitening and brightening your smile can help boost self-confidence and your overall feeling of well-being.
There are numerous options available when it comes to whitening teeth, from bleaching kits and toothpastes, to in-chair treatments and holistic remedies. The overall process of whitening teeth is quick and easy and the results are effective, but a question to consider is,
is teeth whitening safe?
- Will the whitening gel damage my teeth?
Teeth whitening gel is not damaging your teeth when carried out by a Dental Professional. The materials used in the whitening agent (gel) have been used in dentistry for over 100 years and are completely safe.
I want to know the science behind it:
Stains on teeth can be classified in one of two ways: extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic stains appear on the surface of your teeth. Intrinsic stains live between the microcracks in your enamel and deep within your dentin (the layer of your tooth underneath your enamel). Whitening toothpastes and mouth rinses may be able to remove some of the extrinsic stains on your teeth. But only teeth whitening agents can remove the stubborn extrinsic stains and the unsightly intrinsic stains that cause your teeth to look discoloured.
Professional dental gels contain an active whitening ingredient (either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide) that penetrates your enamel to get to discoloured molecules. Oxygen molecules from the whitening agents react with the discoloured molecules in your teeth, breaking the bonds that hold them together. The oxygen molecules spread, whitening the entire tooth. As a result, you are left with a brighter, whiter smile
- Will my teeth get whiter using a whitening toothpaste ?
Whitening toothpaste can appear to whiten teeth slightly by removing superficial surface stains, such as those caused by drinking tea, coffee or smoking. However, whitening toothpastes can’t change the natural colour of your teeth or lighten deeper stains.
I want to know why.
In UK it is illegal to supply bleaching material containing more than 0.1% peroxide (or the equivalent in carbamide peroxide) directly to the public as it can cause damage. Only dentists can use stronger materials.
- Will whitening strips whiten my teeth the same as professional teeth whitening?
The main difference is the concentration of bleaching agents. Strips are far weaker than professional teeth whitening. The second difference is precision and overall outcome- if your teeth are crooked or rotated, you may not get the results you want. In this case, professional whitening may be your best bet.
- Do some foods make my teeth whiter or darker?
Many foods and drinks have effects on the shade of our teeth. Some are more staining than others, such as darker colour foods and drinks. Lighter colour foods typically cause less staining. Choosing lighter alternatives will help prevent staining. Strawberries and apples naturally have a whitening effect on our teeth as they contain an acid which can dissolve superficial stains on the surface of teeth
- How long will it last?
The results of teeth whitening can be indefinitely with some very simple maintenance, for example wearing the trays for 1 night every few months.
- How does professional tooth whitening work?
The process is carried out by making custom made trays, designed to fit your teeth. Your dentist will provide you with a special gel (in syringe form) and will demonstrate how and when to carefully use them along with the trays provided.
I want to know the exact steps:
Free Cosmetic Consultation
We are pleased to offer you a free of charge, no-obligation Cosmetic Consultation. This appointment is designed to help you find out more about whitening options, the process and the cost of treatment. The consultation will last around 20 minutes.
On the same appointment with our Dentist, you will be given a bespoke Treatment Plan, with an all-inclusive quotation – there are no hidden charges. This treatment plan will contain all discussed options and you are able to take the information away and make the informed decision in the comfort of your own home.
First Appointment – Impressions
Your first appointment for teeth whitening will last approximately 20 minutes. During this appointment we will take intra-oral photos, establish your current tooth shade and take the impressions. The impressions will then be sent to our laboratory, where they will make custom made whitening trays. This process usually takes 7 days.
If plaque, tartar or staining is present your dentist will advise you to have a cleaning (scale & polish) before having the impressions taken. This way the trays will fit better and your teeth will get whiter as the whitening gel will be in better contact with the surface of your teeth. This can be done on your first appointment. The cleaning will incur an additional charge and the appointment length is extended to 60 minutes (cleaning + whitening impressions).
Second Appointment – Whitening fit
After 7 days your whitening trays will be ready for collection. During this 20 minute appointment we will fit your trays and provide you with a Whitening kit and the gel. The Dentist will provide all necessary information and instructions.
Optional Third Appointment – Whitening review
We pride ourselves on ensuring our patients are happy and satisfied by our services. We always offer our patients a free of charge review 2 weeks after starting Teeth Whitening. This appointment gives you the option to ask any questions and to see your progress. Photographs will be taken and you will be able to compare the shade of your teeth before and after the whitening.
Most of our patients find that two syringes are sufficient to reach their desired whiteness. The other two provided can be used as top ups. We also sell our whitening refill syringes here for £20 so maintaining a beautiful white smile is easy!
Whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures. Whitening and brightening your smile can help boost self-confidence and your overall feeling of well-being. The overall process of whitening teeth is quick and easy and the results are effective, but a question to consider is, is it safe?
There are numerous options available when it comes to whitening teeth, from bleaching kits and toothpastes, to in-chair treatments and holistic remedies. However, it is important to remember that before trying anything, you should consider whether the treatment is safe, approved and conducted correctly in a clinical environment.
Dental whitening is safe when provided by a registered Dental Professional. By law, in the UK, teeth whitening should only be carried out by a qualified Dental Professional. Whitening can only be given to a person after a dentist has examined the patient to make sure there are no risks or any other concerns regarding your oral condition.
In Europe, it is illegal to supply bleaching material containing more than 0.1% peroxide (or the equivalent in carbamide peroxide) to anyone other than a Dentist, or direct to the public. These regulations are purely to protect you. They make sure that anyone carrying out whitening is appropriately trained and has the correct skills and knowledge to carry out the procedure safely. In the wrong hands, tooth whitening can cause damage to your teeth and soft tissues, which can lead to long term problems and dental pain.
The regulations permit preparations containing hydrogen peroxide, and other compounds or mixtures that release hydrogen peroxide (including carbamide peroxide and zinc peroxide), to be used by dental professionals for tooth whitening, with the maximum effective concentration of hydrogen peroxide allowed under the law being 6%.
We advise our patients to be careful, if you’re considering teeth whitening anywhere other than a dental practice. Things to check for are:
- Relevant Qualifications
- GDC registered
If in doubt, we strongly recommend speaking to your Dentist first.
Categorised in: Ferry Dental Blog