Tooth whitening is an effective way to improve the appearance of your teeth. It cannot make a complete colour change but should markedly lighten your existing shade.
All teeth are different and, just like hair colour, vary from person to person. You may want to improve the natural colour of your teeth but it is just as likely that teeth have become darker with age or the effect of some food & drink such as tea, coffee & red wine and smoking.
Before starting any whitening process it is essential to remove all traces of plaque, calculus and surface stains with a professional scale & polish. There are several whitening processes available however many are ineffective and some can be harmful. Be very wary of using any product not supplied by a dental professional.
Professional bleaching will involve making a small rubber tray to cover the crowns of the teeth. The bleaching gel is put into the tray and applied to the teeth. The active ingredient (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide) breaks down, releasing oxygen onto the enamel, lightening the tooth. The process takes about an hour and needs to be repeated daily for around ten days. For this reason it is usually carried out by the patient in their home at a convenient time. This gradual process (as opposed to “power bleaching” in one session) makes any side effects such as sore gums and sensitive teeth far less likely.
The effects of whitening are thought to last for up to 3 years, however you will be able to keep your rubber trays for future use and reapplying in the future should be far less costly.