Tooth Whitening at Caspian Dental Clinic
The summer is upon us and it is the time of the year everybody starts to think of holidays, sun and beaches. It goes hand in hand with a fitter body, slimmer waist and whiter teeth. So I am going to dedicate my blog to tooth whitening. Tooth whitening, sometimes known as “bleaching”, is a common dental procedure. Tooth “whitening” restores natural tooth colour. There are many different ways to do this.
Why do teeth stain? Baby teeth are usually whiter than the permanent teeth that follow. As people age, their teeth gradually darken. Teeth can stain because of the food that we eat and the bacteria in our mouths. Some antibiotics can cause teeth to stain. Dark or coloured liquids like coffee, tea, and wine can also stain teeth. Darker teeth are generally associated with aging, the whiter the teeth are, and the younger the person is perceived.
Teeth whitening products can help to lighten your teeth. They usually contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. When these chemicals break down, oxygen gets into the hard outer surface (enamel) of your teeth, which whitens them. How long the whitening effects last will be different for everyone and can range from a few months up to three years. There are several different ways you can whiten your teeth. You can use home tooth whitening kits or we can whiten your teeth for you in the dental chair. Bleaching won't work on false teeth, veneers, crowns or fillings (including tooth-coloured fillings) but we can replace these with lighter ones. If you have had root canal treatment on any teeth, they can become discoloured. It may be possible to lighten these teeth by applying the product to the inside of your tooth. If you have tooth decay or gum disease, this will need to be treated before you have any whitening treatments.
Professional teeth whitening
Professional bleaching can only be carried out by a qualified dental professional. It’s illegal for anyone else, for example a beautician or hairdresser, to offer the procedure. Whitening can be external or internal.
If you have external bleaching, the gel is placed on the outer surfaces of your teeth. Internal bleaching involves putting the bleaching product inside your tooth. External bleaching is more common, as internal bleaching can only be used if you have had root canal treatment, allowing access to the inside of your tooth.
If you have external bleaching, your dentist will make rubber mouth trays that fit your teeth exactly. He or she will protect your gums with a rubber shield before applying a whitening gel. This will be stronger and therefore more effective than products you can buy to use at home. Your dentist will give you tubes of bleaching gel and instructions on how to use it in the mouth trays so you can continue whitening your teeth at home. He or she will tell you how often you need to apply the gel and for how long. This will depend on the product and can vary from 30 minutes at a time to wearing it overnight. Depending on which product you’re using, you may start to see results after one to four weeks. Your dentist may also offer laser or ‘power’ bleaching. After he or she has applied the bleaching gel to your teeth, a laser (very bright light) is used to speed up the whitening process by reacting with the product. Although many providers claim that this treatment is more effective at changing the colour of your teeth more quickly, there is very little scientific evidence to show that it works. It’s also possible that the laser may damage your teeth. I personally believe that it is the case and hence we do not provide this technique at Caspian Dental Clinic.
You will only be able to have internal bleaching if you have had root canal treatment. This means that the blood vessels and nerves inside your tooth have been replaced with a rubber filling. If you have internal bleaching, your dentist will drill a hole in your tooth and put the bleaching product into the hole. He or she will use the hole that was previously made for your root treatment, although it may need to be made slightly larger. Your dentist will seal the hole with a temporary filling, leaving the bleach inside your tooth. You will need to go back to your dentist about a week later to have the temporary filling and bleach taken out. He or she will fill the hole with a tooth-coloured filling.
What are the risks?
As with every procedure, there are some risks associated with teeth whitening. Provided it’s done by a qualified dental professional, teeth whitening is safe. It's important to be aware that products that are available on the internet may damage your teeth, gums or lips, or they may not work well. Also beauticians and hairdressers are not allowed to provide tooth whitening, those ones who are offering the treatment, are in breach of the law and if discovered will be prosecuted by the General Dental Council.
Side-effects are the unwanted, but mostly temporary effects you may get after the procedure. Side-effects of teeth whitening include temporary sensitivity of your teeth to hot and cold, a sore throat, tender gums and white patches on your gums. These side-effects should disappear after a few days but contact your dentist if they don’t. It’s important that you have realistic expectations of how much your teeth can be whitened. Talk to your dentist about this before you begin the procedure.
You can increase how long the effects of teeth whitening last by:
• Brushing your teeth twice a day
• Stopping smoking
• Reducing how much you have of foods and drinks that can stain your teeth
• Having regular check-ups with your dentist At Caspian, we realise this demand and desire for whiter teeth.
Why would I need my teeth whitened?
As we get older our teeth get darker. This is partly due to our getting older, but it is also caused by the foods we eat and drink, and by other habits such as smoking. Tea, coffee, blackcurrant juice, red wine and other foods that have strong colours can have an effect on the overall colour of our teeth. Teeth may also darken as a result of some antibiotics. Some people naturally have darker teeth. Other people have white spots on their teeth. This can be caused by early tooth decay, or illness when the tooth was forming. When might tooth whitening not work? Tooth whitening can only lighten your existing tooth colour. Also it only works on natural teeth. It will not work on any types of ‘false' teeth such as dentures, crowns and veneers. If your dentures are stained or discoloured visit your dentist and ask for them to be cleaned.
What about over-the-counter home kits?
Home kits are cheaper but they are not always assessed for safety and tend to be more acidic. So there is a chance that these products could damage your teeth and gums. Because tooth whitening is a complicated procedure we advise that you always talk to your dentist before starting the treatment. Regulations covering home kits vary from country to country. Kits sold in the UK cannot legally contain more than 0.1% peroxide and this is too little to be effective. In other countries where stronger peroxide is allowed, home whitening is more common. But you need to be careful as some kits sold over the internet may contain mild acids and abrasives.
Is it safe to have tooth whitening done by a hair dresser or beautician?
In the UK, whitening can only legally be carried out by a dentist. So tooth whitening by beauticians is illegal. 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 to protect the public. They make sure that anyone carrying out whitening is properly trained and has the right skills and knowledge to carry out the procedure without risking permanent damage to the teeth or gums.
How effective are whitening toothpastes?
There are several whitening toothpastes on the market. Although they do not affect the natural colour of your teeth they may be effective at removing staining, helping to restore the natural colour of your teeth. Therefore, they may improve the overall appearance of your teeth. Whitening toothpaste may also help the effect to last after your teeth have been professionally whitened.
At Caspian, We realise this demand and desire for whiter teeth.We have done our research and through many great products and brands, we have chosen Enlighten. Enlighten teeth whitening is a technological leader in professional teeth whitening. Enlighten is a cutting-edge product from the US that we are utilizing to make a visible difference to your smile. The Enlighten kit is an effective product that does not use substances that are harsh enough to damage teeth and cause the patient unnecessary pain. Enlighten teeth whitening works safely and painlessly to provide outstanding results. The Enlighten range includes kits for both home use and dentist applied, with varying strengths and modes of application. Enlighten experience offers a naturally white smile. The breakthrough product also has a guarantee that applies to every single patient, regardless of colour, age, lifestyle or dietary habits. Home Kit: The simple procedure takes 2 weeks to reach desired results for 95% of patients. Impressions of the teeth are made and the trays are worn for 14 nights. This method gets teeth whiter and helps people who have had tough stains or bleach resistant teeth to get their smiles as white as they so desire. Most importantly, Enlighten Evolution is safe. RISKS OF ENLIGHTEN As with any elective dental treatment, there are great benefits but there may also be risks involved. Gum irritation or tooth sensitivity can occur. This usually wears off within a day of treatment It is advised to avoid food and drinks which are renowned for staining teeth, such as red wine and coffee, for up to a week. A gel is offered to minimise pain during the procedure.
To discuss it further with us or to book your appointment, contact us on 01923254979.
We are Caspian, we are simply excellent.
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