Professional teeth whitening is an efficient and effective procedure that can lighten your teeth by six to eight shades. At Sans Souci Dental we’re proud to offer safe whitening products to help you reach your desired shade without any risk to your tooth enamel. Let’s have a look at how teeth whitening works and what you can expect.
Why Do Teeth Discolour In The First Place?
Your teeth come into contact with everything you eat, drink and smoke. They are also highly absorptive and tend to soak up dark stains. When stains accumulate on the outside of your teeth it is called extrinsic staining. Many extrinsic stains can be removed with regular brushing and flossing, and by professional cleaning by your dentist.
As you get older, the dentin inside your teeth (which was once white) starts to turn yellow. Additionally, your tooth enamel becomes thinner as you age too, making that discoloured dentin more visible. This is known as intrinsic staining.
It’s worth noting that tooth discolouration is a natural part of ageing, and it is influenced by heredity too. The good news is professional teeth whitening products can penetrate your tooth enamel and remove intrinsic stains for a whiter smile.
How Teeth Whitening Works
You will first discuss your teeth whitening wants and needs with your dentist.
Your dentist will show you pictures of what can likely be achieved on your teeth with the product you have chosen.
Before you can whiten you must have a dental cleaning, so that your dentist can remove any plaque or tartar from your teeth.
Your dentist will check that your tooth enamel is healthy and strong and make sure you do not have any cavities.
Then your dentist will make sure that your gums and soft tissue are protected before painting a layer of the teeth whitening gel onto all surfaces of your teeth. The whitening gel is usually left on for around 15 minutes at a time. Some products need to be activated with a blue light or laser, in order for the hydrogen peroxide to penetrate the tooth enamel and lift the stains from the dentin inside.
Sometimes this process is repeated two to three times until your dentist has achieved the shade of white you want. In most cases, you can have a whiter smile within 45 to 60 minutes.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening
Some dentists also offer a take-home whitening solution. You will be given custom-fitted trays as well as a lower concentration of bleaching agent, which you can wear overnight or for a few hours a day. The results from take-home teeth whitening trays do take longer to achieve, so the choice of product will depend on how quickly you would like your treatment to be done.
If you opt for in-chair teeth whitening, your dentist may give you some bleaching agent to take home for top-ups. It’s important that you do not exceed the wear time recommended if you do teeth whitening at home, as it can cause damage to your teeth with prolonged exposure or use.
Still have questions about teeth whitening? We would love to assist you. Please contact us for an appointment: (02) 8073 9218.