Bright, white teeth and a big smile. It’s what we all aspire to, but to achieve it we may need a little help.
Whitening is a treatment designed to help remove stains and discoloration from your teeth. It’s among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can greatly improve how your teeth look and help your overall aesthetic.
Whitening is not a one-time procedure, it needs to be repeated from time to time if you want to preserve the brighter colour. Teeth can become stained or discoloured for multiple reasons but the most common cause is poor dietary habits. Your teeth will be discoloured over time if you drink large amounts of coffee, sugary drinks, red wine, tea, or if you smoke or take certain medicines.
There are two different ways that you can whiten your teeth – either an at-home kit or an in-chair procedure. There are many factors to consider before you choose the best solution for your teeth.
Your DB dentist will use a whitening solution, with or without a bright light, to improve the shade of your teeth. This method usually involves a strong chemical bleaching agent and will only take an hour in the chair. The results will be immediate and depending on your lifestyle and dietary habits, may last for up to a year.
You may prefer to opt for several treatments to achieve the desired shade of white, but most people will only require one sitting for great results. This is a great solution for patients who would like to whiten their teeth more quickly however, it is also a more invasive process for your teeth than at home.
If you don’t want an in-chair treatment, your DB dentist can prepare a take-home whitening kit of clear custom trays and whitening gel. This process usually happens over the course of two weeks and means you can control how white you want your teeth to look.
At-home kits may take longer to achieve the final result you’re after, and they’re dependent on regular use, however it is less invasive than the other options due to lower concentrations of bleaching agents.
Any large fillings in your front teeth may need to be replaced after the whitening process as fillings do not change colour. Once you have a scale and clean by your dentist, you’ll be ready to start the journey to a brighter smile.
In chair and take home bleaching kits – what is the difference?
In chair teeth whitening uses a strong active ingredient, which can only legally be prescribed and applied in the dental practice. This type of whitening can only be applied for an hour at a time and if multiple visits are required, they must be at least one week apart. While this whitening process may result in a dramatic change in brightness, it also causes more sensitivity and temporary tooth dehydration.
One visit may not be sufficient to get your teeth to the brightest shade they can be. Because this treatment is done in surgery, there is a higher cost associated with the treatment. Take home whitening is gentler, has a mild active ingredient and is safe to use without constant professional supervision. However, some professional supervision is still advised as all whitening can cause side effects like tooth sensitivity and even chemical burns.
It is important to follow instructions from your dentist, therapist and hygienist regarding the safest application of your home whitening kits. You should also check in with your NDC dental team regularly to ensure you are on track for the best results. Take home whitening is also very economical: once you have been issued your custom made home kit and starter gel, you will only need to top up your whitening once per year and the gel can be supplied at minimal cost by your DB Dental dental practice during your preventative care visits.