Tooth Whitening at The Dental Surgery

By January 17, 2013 The Dental Surgery Blog

Having a ‘whiter brighter smile’ has become a necessity. At The Dental Surgery we will assist you in wisely choosing the path to enhancing such a priceless social asset – your smile!

  • Virtually all adults (99.7%) believe a smile is an important social asset
  • Ninety six percent of adults believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing
  • Three quarters of adults (74%) feel an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chance for career success

AACD National Survey
Andrew Mckamie DDS, Editorial board member, Dental Product Shopper
Teeth whitening – a brilliant idea Oct 2010

Smile enhancing treatment options:

If you want to whiten your smile what you are envisaging is the end result not necessarily the treatment process.  You are concerned with comfort, cost and convenience.

There are many options to enhance the appearance of teeth, simply by removing surface staining, lightening the internal pigments or by utilising more complex restorative materials.  We have listed the treatment as a guide when considering what may work best for you.

All the Team at The Dental Surgery can then advise which the best treatment for your smile is.

Whitening Toothpaste
Whitening toothpastes like Opalescence toothpaste are available with high fluoride which aids in reviving the tooth’s natural whiteness.

Airflow Scale and Polish
Often a good scale and polish is ample to keep a natural smile clean and bright, whilst maintaining the integrity of the tooth surface. Treatments such as AirFlow use a silicone coated powder which remove stains effectively and quickly whilst remaining kind to the tooth surface. Airflow is ideal to maintain your new smile as well and a visit to the hygienists regularly is recommended to ensure you keep smiling!

The Dental Surgery White Dental Beauty
Carbamide Peroxide gel in a custom fabricated tray is the traditional tried and tested way to lighten the internal pigments of teeth, therefore improving their appearance without altering any tooth structure.

In surgery whitening
Hydrogen Peroxide formulations are generally used for this type of procedure.  Due to their quick penetration the results are more immediate, although this often, if not always requires an aftercare home treatment to ensure stable shade change. This is done with

The Dental Surgery White Dental Beauty

White and brown stains in the enamel can be gently removed using a gentle abrasion technique. This can be done on its own or as part of the overall whitening procedure

Walking bleach
This is a very effective way to lighten non vital teeth that have been discoloured by trauma or over time.  Using the ‘Walking bleach’ technique, you can lighten the remaining tooth structure over several weeks to the desired shade in a very controlled way.

Composite restorations

Composite is an effective restorative material for altering shade, shape and surface texture of teeth.  It wears like natural tooth structure occasionally requiring some maintenance to keep its appearance looking vital with high shine.

Porcelain is renowned for its high quality aesthetics, function and extensive research.  Lab communication, bonding and cementation are key elements in getting the best results.  Full smile design cases can attract higher costs, and can be life changing.

Require more severe removal of tooth structure, but often only recommended when there is no other less invasive alternative treatment.


‘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?’
Studies show that the effect on enamel of a total bleaching treatment using 10% carbamide peroxide, is equivalent to one carbonated drink.

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.  Home bleaching is the most cost effective and average prices start from £295

‘How long will it last?’
Avoiding staining agents means the effects will last longer before whitening maintenance is needed.

Colour stability was reported to have only regressed approx one quarter of the amount after 18 months

18 months 74%
36 months 62%

Ref: Haywood VB,et al.Effectiveness side effects &  long-term status of Nightguard vital bleaching. J Am Dent Assoc 1994;125:1219-1226.

‘Are there any side effects?’
No, normally there are no known permanent side effects for these kinds of treatments.

At The Dental Surgery we work with you on an individual basis and budget to tailor your specific requirements.