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Professional teeth whitening

24 March 2011

Teeth whitening is a common procedure done by most dentists though generally considered within the realm of cosmetic dentistry. As we age, the inner layer (dentine) of our teeth naturally becomes darker and depending on the thickness and translucency of the overlying enamel this may become more noticeable. The enamel can also pick up stains from smoking, wine, tea and coffee, bacterial acids and foods. Medications such as tetracycline can also darken the dentine.

Professional teeth whitening is most commonly done in the form of either take home whitening trays or in-office whitening. The great thing about professional teeth whitening in Sydney is that it will work for most patients with almost immediate results. Over the counter whitening products, whitening strips and bleaching pens are very weak so that they are safe for everyone to use. This means they might be used for maintenance but are not very effective at performing the initial whitening required to get a good result.

The first and most important part of tooth whitening is getting assessed by a dentist to determine if the teeth are suitable for whitening. Decay, crowns, metal and white fillings, internal staining from medicaments, root canal treated teeth are among some of the many reasons that teeth whitening may not be successful. If I decided that a patient was suitable, I would usually recommend take home teeth whitening as it works and is also cost effective. At our office, making custom teeth whitening trays with the whitening solutions would only cost $179. The main disadvantage of this method is that it takes about 2 weeks to achieve the desired whitening. There is also the issue of finding sufficient time to wear the trays, sensitivity during the teeth whitening process and gum irritation from the whitening gel. For most people, the discomfort is worth the effort and the effect quite dramatic.

When a patient needs their teeth whitened quickly or cannot wear the teeth whitening trays then in-office teeth whitening is an ideal solution. The procedure usually takes a little over an hour with instant results. At our Neutral Bay, Sydney office we use ZOOM whitening and Sapphire Brite Whitening for in-office teeth whitening. This is sometimes called Power bleaching or laser whitening but essentially is teeth whitening boosted by the use of a light. The solution used with these techniques are very strong and can cause burns to the gums. Therefore, we spend time covering the gums completely so there is no leakage of the solution onto the gums. We would still give our patients a take home whitening tray to maximise their result or for ongoing maintenance. The main disadvantage is the cost and the sensitivity that sometimes happens with a this technique.

Regardless of which technique is used, once you are a Cosmic Smile Dental patient, we don’t charge for the top ups kits as long as you maintain your six-monthly preventive recare appointments. This is our Whitening for Life program. This means that we give you the $50 gel at every recare appointment. You’ll never have to buy any more solution while you keep your hygiene appointments with us! So take a look at our Teeth Whitening Gallery and decide which method is best for you.