There are many options available to enhance the appearance of teeth ranging from the removal of surface stains to the lightening of internal pigments of teeth and more complex restorative methods. Whitening your smile depends on many factors – your lifestyle, the current shade of your teeth and the results you wish to achieve to name a few. Here at The Dental Surgery we assist you in choosing the best path to enhancing your smile.
As a guide, we have listed some of the possible treatment options below.
Smile enhancing treatment options
Whitening toothpastes, like the Opalescence toothpaste available in our surgery, contains potassium nitrate and fluoride which aids in reviving the tooth’s natural whiteness.
Airflow Scale and Polish
Often frequent hygiene treatments are enough to keep a natural smile clean and bright while maintaining the integrity of the tooth surface. All of our hygienists use the AirFlow technique in their treatments which remove stains quickly and painlessly with the use of silicone coated powder.
Teeth Whitening Strips
Whitening the colour of natural teeth easily be achieved with the application of teeth whitening strips. Prescribed by one of our dentists, teeth whitening strips are easy to apply and need only be left on for 1 hour. Results vary by person, but in most cases whitening can be noticed in 1 week and the results may last up to 12 months.
Professional Tooth Whitening
Using carbamide peroxide gel in a custom fabricated tray is the traditional tried and tested way to lighten the internal pigments of teeth, thereby improving their appearance without altering any tooth structure. We create your own personal tray to fit your mouth comfortably which can be worn overnight or in an approved one hour session. Results can be seen after 10 – 14 applications and the tray can be reused as often as desired. As with the other treatments mentioned above, this will only affect natural teeth, other options will need to be considered to whiten veneer, crown and composite restorations (see below).
This is a very effective way to lighten non-vital teeth that have been discoloured over time or by trauma (particularly effective in for patients who have had root canal treatments). Bleach is placed inside of the tooth for a week and removed or replaced until the desired result has been achieved. Using this technique, we can lighten the remaining tooth structure over several weeks to the desired shade in a very controlled way.
Composite Restorations, Veneers and Crowns
The whitening treatments mentioned affect the colour of natural teeth and will not have a whitening effect on teeth of any other material (plastic, glass, metal, porcelain, etc.). In these cases slightly more invasive alternative whitening treatment will have to be discussed and considered.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take?
This will depend on the treatment plan prescribed by the dentist, most average cases of home whitening can lighten in as little as 1-2 weeks.
Is it safe?
Yes. Studies show that the effect on enamel of a total bleaching treatment using 10% carbamide peroxide, is equivalent to one carbonated drink. Although, if you are pregnant or nursing, we strongly urge you to seek medical advice before attempting any whitening procedures.
(Ref: McCracken MS,et al.Demineralisation effects of 10% CP. & cola on enamel.J Dent Res 3;72:215)
How much does it cost?
Prices vary depending on the treatments and desired results. See our pricelist here.
How long will it last?
In most cases results can last as long as 12 – 18 months, however this will depend on each individual’s lifestyle. Avoiding staining agents such as cigarettes and wine means the effects will last longer before whitening maintenance is needed.
Why can’t I just buy over the counter whitening products?
Over the counter whitening products contain much lower strength of active ingredients than those prescribed by dentists, and although they may remove surface stains, they will not change the actual colour of your teeth.
(AACD National Survey, Andrew Mckamie DDS, Editorial board member, Dental Product Shopper, Teeth whitening – a brilliant idea Oct 2010)
At The Dental Surgery we work with you on an individual basis and budget to tailor your specific requirements. Give us a call today to discuss arrange a consultation in which we can discuss the best options for you.
Call us today 020 7680 1800