As a cosmetically aware dental practice in London, we have been whitening teeth for many years, we’ve literally travelled the world to look at all the different systems available, to find which are the safest and the best, and to bring them back to our practice in Southgate, north london.
In this series of blog posts we will be looking at the best ways of whitening your teeth, the different ways you can whiten your teeth, insturctions for how to whiten your teeth, what your other treatment options are as well as looking at more complicated teeth whitening cases.
There are 2 main ways to whiten your teeth. Either using a home whitening kit (professional kit supplied by your dentist or any of the many products found online or elsewhere!) or an in’surgery whitening also known as ‘power whitening’ or ‘laser whitening’. Now, one thing I tell ALL my patients, if you want the BEST results, QUICKEST, you should do a combination of the home and In-surgery whitening.
Home Teeth Whitening
The method that we (and most dentists) use for home whitening, is using ‘bleaching trays’ (see image 1). These are thin pastic trays which are made by taking impressions of your teeth, from this we can make your bleaching trays so that they are customised to you and very close fitting to the gums and teeth to prevent any gels from escaping! This is a big difference between trays your dentist will make, and those DIY trays you can buy over the interenet, these trays will be ‘best fit’ and will often have gaps and voids in them, allowing gels to escape, which not only makes the whitening not as affective, but also means gel (basically a bleach) may leak into the mouth, or even be swallowed, which can become dangerous!!
Patients using a home kit on its own, on average will use the kit every day/night consecutively (if possible) for around 2-3 weeks, unless combining this with in surgery in which case only 4-5 days of the home kit is normally needed (see cobination whtiening section below).
We provide our patients with an options of gels to use, either our day gels which breakdown quicker and can be used during the day (for 30mins- 1hr), or night gels which break down more gradually and can be used over night (4-6hours). With both of these options our patients also have a choice of higher or lower concentration depending on weather we think they may have sensitivity.
One of the great things with having the home kit, is that you will be able to keep your new smile white for life! Patients can simply ‘top-up’ whenever needed in the future, your trays should fit you for life (unless your teeth move), and gels can be purcahsed seperately from our reception.
In- Surgery Teeth whitening
One of the most pooular ways of whitening your teeth now days is in-surgery whitening, also know as ‘power’, ‘laser’ or ‘in-office’ whitening. We do hundreds of in-surgery whitenings and have been doind so for many years, finding it a safe, simple and effective way of whitening teeth.
“I’ve had my own teeth whitened & I’ve whitened my own families teeth, thats how confident I am that its a safe and great prouct to use!” Dr R Adams
In-surgery whitening, works in the same manner as the home whitening in that we use a bleaching gel to whiten the teeth (this is a much higher concnetration that those given to patietns for home use), as well as using an ‘accelerator’, this is normally in the form of either a light/laser/heatsource. Much of the marketing and promotion around these different accelerators are advertising gimiks, basically, they all give off heat which speeds up the reaction (basic chemistry 101)!
The treatment is quite straight forward, patients will come in, after explaining the procedure to them, we will spend the first 10-15 minutes ‘isolating the soft tissues’ (see image 2) this means protecting all the gums, cheeks, tongue (and anything else not teeth!), once all this is in place, the bleach and the accelorator is applied and left for between 15-30 minutes (depending on the case), this is then removed and reapplied 2-3 times during your session. At the end of the treatment all the gels and products are removed and thats it !
As the whole treatment can take an hour or so, we provide many options for patient entertainment, from wireless headphones with hypnosis relaxation tracks, dvd glasses, tv or dvd’s to watch or a selection of magazines. Patients are also welcome to bring their own laptop to work on, or ipods/mp3 if they would prefer to listen to their own tracks. Image 3 shows one of my patients having their teeth whitening whilst watching a film using our wireless headphones!!
5 Tips to get the best results from teeth whitening
- Use a combined option of home & In-surgery, not only will this give you the best and quickest results, it will also allow you to maintain this colour for life!
- Have your teeth professionally cleaned by a hygienist or dentist before your whitening. Even with the best whitening in the world, visible plaque and tartar will spoilyour new white smile, your dentist/hygienist will be able to remove this for you, having this done before teeth whitening will allow the underlying tooth to be whitened as well.
- Be smart about sensitivity! – Sensitivity is a normal side affect of teeth whitening, in 90%of cases it is very mild and requires little or no management, it is always temporary and usually fades within 2 weeks of stopping the whitening. If you are concenred about sensitivity or know you have sensitive teeth, you should discuss this with your dentist before hand and they should be able to provide you solutions. WY10 the whitening system we use, has the lowest sensitivity we have ever found, in addition to this, we provide our patients desensitizing toothpastes and gels if needed.
- Follow up – make sure to follow the schedule recommended by your dentist, often, even if we are really happy with the result following an in-surgery session, we will recommend the patient to follow up with a couple of days with the home kit. This is to help minimise any ‘fade back’ where the teeth get less white the week following an in surgery whitening as they rehydrate.
- Don’t be a stranger !! The best way to keep your stunning new smile, as well as using your home kit, is to visit your dentist/hygienist regularrly for professional cleaning. This will help to remove surface staining before it has the opportunity to penetrate deeper into the tooth making it appearing yellow
To find out more about our teeth whitening at Adams Dental, our to book your free consutlation, please visit us at http://www.adamsdental.co.uk/teeth-whitening-southgate-london-n14.html