A white, bright smile is beautiful. It can help you feel better about yourself and make a memorable impression on those you meet.
Your lifestyle and the aging process can stain and darken your teeth. Many things we do on a regular basis contribute to stained teeth, such as drinking coffee, tea, cola and red wine or smoking.
For many patients, teeth whitening is a simple, affordable treatment that can deliver a dramatic transformation. Patients with deeper stains, tetracycline staining or other bleach resistant stains may benefit from other cosmetic dentistry treatments such as porcelain veneers, composite bonding or dental crowns.
Teeth Whitening Transformation
The patient above presented with discoloured teeth. Dr. Buckle used Zoom whitening to achieve a brighter, more youthful smile.
What Type of Tooth Whitening Is Right For You?
There are several different ways that we can whiten your teeth. These are separated into external teeth whitening techniques (where gel is placed on the outside of the tooth) and internal teeth whitening techniques (where gel is placed inside the tooth).
Teeth whitening can get your smile looking its best. You should look for a teeth whitening procedure that:
- Fits in your schedule and lifestyle
- Delivers long lasting results
- Minimizes sensitivity to gums and teeth
- Is proven to be safe and effective
- Performed or administered by a dental professional
External Teeth Whitening
External teeth whitening refers to the process of lightening the colour of the teeth by placing a gel on the outer surfaces of the teeth. External teeth whitening is effective for treating tooth discolouration caused by age, exposure to dark foods and beverages, and tobacco. External teeth whitening may not be effective for certain types of discolouration, such as that caused by metal fillings or damaged blood vessels inside a tooth.
There are three ways to do whiten teeth:
- “Home” teeth bleaching – this is similar to the over-the-counter kits, but with two main differences. Firstly, we make custom trays so that they fit your teeth precisely, and secondly, the bleaching gel is stronger and tends to be more effective. We will give you tubes of bleaching gel and instructions on how to use the trays. You will need to wear the trays for at least a few hours each day. It may take a few weeks to achieve the colour that you want.
- In the dental surgery – “power” or “laser” teeth bleaching – We use the Zoom technique for chair-side teeth whitening. We will put a rubber seal around your teeth to protect your gums, then apply a special gel to your teeth that is activated with a patented bright light. This light enhances the Zoom teeth whitening process. Zoom teeth whitening generally produces dramatic results in less than an hour.
- Combined teeth bleaching – this may also be known as “power” teeth bleaching. Here, the home and surgery teeth whitening treatments are used in combination to obtain the desired result. The home bleaching stage may occur before or after surgery treatment, depending on the type of product used.
Internal Teeth Whitening
With internal teeth whitening, the colour of a tooth is lightened by placing a bleaching product inside the tooth. Internal teeth bleaching can only be done on teeth that have undergone successful root canal treatment. This means that the blood vessels and nerves inside the tooth have been replaced with a composite filling.
To bleach a tooth in this way, we will drill a hole and put the bleaching product into it (if it’s a front tooth, the hole will be on the back so that you can’t see it). The hole will be sealed with a temporary filling, leaving the bleach inside the tooth. The procedure won’t hurt because the tooth has no nerve inside it.
A follow up visit is required, about a week after initial treatment to have the temporary filling removed and bleach taken out. Once you are satisfied with the new shade, we will fill the hole with a tooth coloured filling. In some cases, the resulting colour isn’t as light as hoped for, and the process needs to be repeated. Occasionally, internal bleaching needs to be combined with other whitening techniques to achieve the desired effect. Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment. Call us at 0151 353 8943 or complete our online form.