One of the simplest, quickest and most effective ways to improve the appearance of your smile is with teeth whitening treatment. In fact, teeth whitening can do far more than revitalise your smile – it can revitalise your self-image, your mannerisms and the impression that you make on others.
Our Teeth Whitening treatment provides clear results which you will appreciate. After this treatment, which is pain-free, fast and effective, your teeth can be up to eight shades whiter. Degree of lightness will vary from patient to patient. Some patients may need to repeat the procedure periodically to top up the effect.
If there are any other dental problems that can affect the success of tooth whitening, these need to be identified and fixed were possible.
Not all teeth are suitable for whitening. Your dentist will discuss this with you on your consultation visit.
Whitening chemicals do not work on ceramic or porcelain crowns or veneers.
Teeth whitening trays and gels
Oxford Dental Centre can provide you with teeth-whitening trays and gels that can be worn at home. We will take an impression of your teeth and a dental technician, will build a tray to the exact measurements of your mouth. We will check that the tray fits and demonstrate how to carry out the procedure at home.
The tray fits closely around the teeth, and is filled with a whitening gel. Depending on the strength of peroxide in the gel, these trays are usually worn for a couple of hours a day or overnight. To achieve the desired whitening the treatment can be for three days or a couple of weeks.
We do not recommend over-the-counter whitening kits as the trays are not made to fit your mouth. Therefore, the chemicals do not always come into close contact with your teeth.
If the bleaching agent meet your gums, they may cause irritation and other side effects.
More importantly, you need a thorough assessment by the dentist before doing any whitening procedure. It may be possible that teeth whitening is not a suitable procedure for you.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why are my teeth discoloured?
Teeth lose their natural colour for many reasons, but the main causes of teeth looking yellow are food and drink, oral hygiene and age. Drinks such as tea, coffee and red wine, and certain fruits such as blueberries stain teeth quite badly. Smoking is another common culprit.
Can I have my teeth whitened if I have cavities or gum problems?
Before treatment you will always be seen by one of our dentists to make sure that having your teeth whitened is right for you. It is not a good idea to have your teeth whitened without treating existing dental problems because the whitening agent can aggravate any cavity or gum problems.
How long will my teeth stay white?
The treatment has a long-term impact on lightening the colour of your teeth but they will not be immune to the same discolouring as they previously suffered. Stains build up on your teeth from everyday living.
Tea, coffee, red wine, tobacco and spicy foods can all dull your teeth’s natural colour. To maintain the impact of the treatment it is advisable to brush your teeth more frequently.
Is teeth whitening painful?
It should be a painless process. However, it has been known to cause teeth and gum sensitivity in some patients.
Is it safe and will it hurt?
As long as you have healthy teeth and gums it is perfectly safe. The primary ingredient in all gels is hydrogen peroxide, which has been safely used in teeth whitening for many years and is recognised as an effective whitening product by the dental community all over the world.
Some people may find that their teeth become sensitive to cold during or after the treatment. Others may have discomfort in the gums, or white patches on the gum line. These symptoms are usually temporary and should disappear within a few days of the treatment finishing. It is best to avoid very hot or very cold drinks for the first 24 hours if there is any tooth sensitivity.
If any of these side effects continue you should contact us.
How white will my teeth become?
In clinical studies results will vary as your starting point may be different and everyone’s teeth respond a little differently, but in virtually all cases, the results are dramatic. Ultimately, the goal will be to achieve your optimum, natural whiteness. During the consultation, our dentist will personally analyse your teeth and provide you with a customised recommendation. Even severe discoloration can be treated to yield great results. However, the more difficult cases can sometimes require more time and best results can be achieved in combination with other types of treatments.
How long does it last?
The long-term results depend on the individual. Certain habits, such as the use of tobacco products, smoking, drinking a lot of coffee, tea, dark soft drinks, and infrequent visits to the dentist for regular cleanings, can work against the results. Regular professional care and maintaining oral hygiene with good diet witness long term results. Some people prefer to repeat whitening treatment more frequently but we will advise you on the best way to optimise long term results.
You must not smoke during the whitening process. It is best to try to quit before you start to whiten your teeth.
Is this procedure for everyone?
Some types of stains can be exaggerated when subjected to whitening procedures, therefore the case selection is very important.
Young adults from 16 years of age and older are good candidates for the procedure, especially for those that have heavy staining after orthodontic treatment is complete and their appliances are removed. We recommend that you not do this process while nursing or pregnant, receiving orthodontic treatment, or have extensive dental work, such as veneers or crown/bridges. All these factors will be reviewed by our dentist at your initial consultation. The most ideal situation for Teeth Whitening is where there is not much wrong with your teeth except for the colour.
If you have old fillings, crowns or dental veneers, these will not change colour but can easily be replaced to match your whitened teeth and create a fantastic smile transformation. Our dentist will carry out a full oral assessment before helping you decide on the final options.
Can a single dark tooth be whitened?
This depends upon the cause of the dark colour, which can include a dead nerve, discoloured fillings, veneers or crowns. Our dentist will determine the cause and advise you of the correct treatment.
Is there anything else I should know?
Some patients may experience sensitivity from hot and cold drinks after treatment. If you are considering Teeth Whitening, please ask our dentist for further information about risks, benefits and suitability.
What if I have white fillings on teeth?
If you have white fillings in the front teeth that match the existing shade of your teeth before treatment, they may not match the teeth afterwards. This is because the technique lightens the teeth but cannot lighten fillings. When the desired colour has been reached, our dentist can replace these fillings with a lighter shade of filling material to match the new shade of your teeth.
hat do I do if I have any sensitivity?
Sensitivity of the teeth is reported by some patients undergoing tooth whitening. This usually occurs around the neck of the teeth where the gums have receded. If you experience any sensitivity you should stop whitening for a few days, and then resume the treatment. If you are concerned, please contact our dentist.
What about whitening toothpastes?
There are several whitening toothpastes on the market. Although they do not affect the natural colour of your teeth, they may be effective at removing staining. Therefore, they may improve the overall appearance of your teeth. Whitening toothpastes may also help the effect to last, once your teeth have been professionally whitened.
If you have any specific question please fill our Online Contact Form or call us on 01865 515 806.
Don’t shy away from your smile any longer – take action and restore your smile’s youthful lustre. To arrange a consultation regarding our teeth whitening options, contact Oxford Dental Centre today. Our team can help you realise your dream of having a beautiful, bright white smile.