Sandycove Dental Care |  Tooth Whitening

By: Sandycove Dental Care  05/12/2011
Keywords: Teeth, tooth whitening

Sandycove Dental Care |  Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening is a safe, non invasive way of improving the appearance of your teeth. It can be used to brighten the smile of all your teeth or to lighten the colour of a dead tooth. Tooth whitening has been in use for more than 30 years and has been proven to be safe and effective.

AT HOME WHITENING
The gold standard is custom tray tooth whitening at home. Impressions are taken of the teeth and close fitting trays are made in a laboratory. The patient loads these trays with the tooth whitening gel and wears them at night. Typically it takes about 10 days to achieve the desired effect. However it can be quicker, or occasionally it may take longer depending on the original colour and the desires of the patient.
The whitening effect will last 2 – 3 years, depending on whether you smoke and the amount of red wine or coffee that you drink.
At any time the process can be redone or topped up and once the teeth have been lightened once, it is much quicker to lighten them again. The trays can be reused.

Advantages of custom tray whitening:

  • More predictable, longer lasting results.
  • Fewer problems with sensitivity.
  • The patient controls the degree of colour change.

Since the trays are reusable the effect can be maintained at any stage and at very little cost.

WHITENING STRIPS
These are another form of at home whitening and they are applied to the outer surface of the teeth. The strips are impregnated with the whitening agent, they are left in position for a number of hours and this is repeated daily over a couple of weeks. Because they are only on the outer surface of the teeth and because the concentration of whitening agent is relatively low, it is not as effective as custom tray whitening.
However if your teeth are not very dark it can work well and is very cost effective.

WHITENING A DEAD TOOTH
When the nerve is removed from a tooth it can turn darker in colour. The whitening agent is placed inside the tooth for a number of days and the process is repeated up to twice. The colour change will last about 3 years and it can be redone.

LASER TOOTH WHITENING
With this method a hydrogen peroxide gel is placed on the outer surface of your teeth and is left in position for 20 minutes. The procedure is repeated 2 – 3 times. An intensifying light may be used to enhance the effect. The advantage of this method is that it achieves an instant result.

The disadvantages are that the result is not as predictable; because only the outer surfaces of the teeth are treated it does not last as long as custom tray whitening, and there is significantly more chance of sensitivity.

SENSITIVITY

All methods of tooth whitening have the potential to cause some sensitivity. However for the vast majority of patients this is not a problem once the appropriate method and formulation is used.
For people with very sensitive teeth specific formulations are available which will be comfortable but these will take longer to be effective.

In general the faster the technique, the stronger the whitening agent and therefore the higher the risk of sensitivity.

Fast acting Laser / Light procedures have the most potential for causing sensitivity.

We would be happy to advise you on which protocol best suits you.

Keywords: Teeth, tooth whitening

Other products and services from Sandycove Dental Care

05/12/2011

Sandycove Dental Care |  Cosmetic Dentistry

It is very important that the way the patient’s bite works is carefully assessed and that the restorations are of the highest quality, otherwise there is a risk that the new restorations will also break down over time. Examples of the conditions which bother patients are discoloured teeth, crooked teeth, broken down teeth and metal fillings in back teeth.


05/12/2011

Sandycove Dental Care |  Crowns

The advantage of a crown is that it completely covers the remaining tooth, preventing further fracture and restoring the original shape of the tooth. FILLING VERSUS A CROWN If a tooth has only a small hole due to decay or a small fracture it can be restored using a filling. A second visit some weeks later is needed to remove the temporary crown and cement the permanent crown.


05/12/2011

Sandycove Dental Care |  Implants

There are some people who are not suitable – heavy smokers, poorly controlled diabetics, patients on some medications for osteoporosis or those with a long term major illness.Barring these, if you are fit and well and have sufficient jawbone, you are suitable for implants. In stage 2 an impression is taken of the implant head and the laboratory uses this to make the crown, bridge or denture which will be retained or stabilised by the implant.


05/12/2011

Sandycove Dental Care |  Root Filling

If the root filling is to be done in one appointment the patient is advised to have some “quiet time” for a minimum of two hours after the appointment, where they sit quietly and read a book, watch TV. etc. Relaxation helps prevent post treatment swelling and discomfort. It may also be necessary if the angulation of a tooth needs to be changed prior to crowning, or if the nerve is compromised and is at risk of dying underneath the crown.