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TOOTH WHITENING


How we live day to day life takes its toll on our teeth. Drinking too much tea or coffee, smoking or even eating strongly coloured foods can stain and discolour them. There are toothpastes available that will help remove these stains, but they can't change the actual colour of the tooth underneath.



The colour of your teeth is determined by your DNA, just like the colour of your hair or your eyes.  As we get older, the dentine - the soft, pulpy substance below the enamel that protects the nerves and the blood supply to the tooth - changes colour, becoming more yellow.  This is something which a stain-removing toothpaste alone cannot help, we can and the procedures are simple, harmless and practically painless.  Internal staining of dentine can discolor the teeth from inside out often caused by the nerve of a tooth dying.


There are two ways of whitening the outside of teeth.  One takes place at home and the other in the dentist’s surgery.  (We do not currently offer in-chair whitening).

At-home whitening involves applying bleaching gel to the teeth using a thin guard trays worn for a couple of hours per day or whilst asleep.  We will need to take impressions of your mouth and a dental technician will makes custom trays specific to you.  At your visit we will check the fit of the trays and show you how to put the whitening agent in the tray at home. You then wear the tray until your teeth reach an acceptable colour . This takes approximately 2-4 weeks.

In-chair whitening uses light energy to accelerate the process of whitening and a stronger agent in a dental office and is quicker.  The initial stage is the same as at-home whitening but for only two weeks. We then see you in the surgery to paint the stronger whitening agent onto the teeth and either shine a special light at them or just leave the agent on the teeth for some time. It is then washed off with water.

The advantage of the at-home method, though, is that you have greater control over the final tooth colour

The effects of whitening can last for several months, but may vary depending on the lifestyle of the patient.  Factors that decrease whitening include smoking and the ingestion of dark colored liquids like coffee, tea and red wine.

Your teeth may be sensitive to hot and cold food and drink for a few days after bleaching. But most people have little or no problems at all.



Internal Whitening

Where a single tooth has gone dark due to the nerve of the tooth being damaged and the tooth’s has had a root filling, whitening agent can be put inside the tooth.  Often within in a week the whitening agent can then be washed out and a cosmetic white filling place inside, resulting in a more healthy looking tooth.



Benefits

1. Improves the appearance of your teeth without removing any of the natural tooth surface.  
2. Costs about the same as a single crown but works on many more teeth.
3. Is totally safe.
4. Can be easily topped up using top up gel.



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