Tooth Whitening and Bleaching - Britesmile, Biolase, Zoom

Teeth whitening is becoming one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments because it is the fastest and most pain-free ways to an improved smile. Tooth whitening can be performed using a specially designed light source, usually a laser or halogen lamp and/or application of a bleaching gel. Latest treatments (e.g. “Biolase”) use a combination of specially formulated gels and laser light to achieve optimal results quickly – sometimes treatment lasting just one hour.

Some people have naturally dark teeth but teeth can also become discoloured over a period of time, particularly those of a smoker or regular consumer of staining foods e.g. tea or coffee or through age. Most cases can be treated successfully using modern cosmetic dentistry tooth whitening techniques.

In these days where a confident smile has been shown to enhance lifestyle, tooth whitening has become one of the most accessible ways to instantly improve your teeth and smile.

Teeth whitening – the process:

Tooth bleaching carried out by a cosmetic dentist is the most common form of tooth whitening although combination techniques using bleaching gels and special light sources are fast gaining popularity.

The bleaching process uses a gel or similar substrate containing active ingredients like hydrogen peroxide up to a concentration of 30% although some of the latest combination systems use strengths of half this level.

You may see trade names such as “Britesmile”, “Pola”, “Enlighten” and “Zoom” which all use slightly differing techniques to achieve the tooth whitening effect – your cosmetic dentist will advise you accordingly.

Your cosmetic dentist will apply the bleaching medium to your teeth using a tray system similar to a sporting gum shield. Oxygen from the active ingredient within the bleaching agent penetrates the tooth’s enamel surface helping stains to disappear without causing damage to the surrounding structure. Depending upon the treatment chosen, the cosmetic dentist may then apply the specialised light source to assist the bleaching process.

In some cases it may be necessary to continue the bleaching process for a short period at home.

How long does the teeth whitening process take?

Latest “power” bleaching processes can be done in just a few hours but the more traditional techniques may take a few weeks. This might involve repeated treatments at your cosmetic dentist, supplemented by treatment at home for periods typically up to one hour.

How long will tooth whitening last?

The effects of tooth whitening should last several years but this depends on several factors for example what you eat and drink and the natural composition of your teeth.

Home tooth whitening:

With the popularity of teeth whitening, many “home” whitening products have recently been released onto the market. However, due to governing legislation, only low levels of bleaching ingredients can be used in such products. Consequently the whitening kits and toothpastes that are available tend to be very limited in their effect.

However, such products may help prolong the effects of professional whitening carried out by your cosmetic dentist.

What does teeth whitening cost?

The cost of the whitening process will vary depending on the treatment selected and the dental practice chosen. Be sure to get a quotation before commencing treatment. It is not usual that teeth whitening can be obtained free of charge on the National Health.

Advantages of Tooth Whitening :

  • Tooth whitening can be relatively low cost
  • Tooth whitening is readily accessible and good results can be obtained quickly
  • The procedures are now well established and if performed correctly, relatively safe
  • Tooth whitening can be used to treat tooth discolouration whether caused by food discolouration, smoking, natural colour or ageing effects
  • Tooth whitening is non-invasive i.e. it does not involve drilling or removal of the tooth surface. Hence it is usually painless

Disadvantages of Tooth Whitening :

  • There have been limited reports of tooth sensitivity to cold weather or foods following or during treatment
  • There can be some gum sensitivity during the treatment process
  • There have been occasional reports of sore throats during the treatment process but this is temporary

As with all cosmetic dentistry treatments, tooth whitening should only be performed by a trained cosmetic dentist so please do you research thoroughly.

Please read on to discover more facts about other popular cosmetic dentistry techniques.... Dental Veneers

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