Why having this popular cosmetic treatment performed by a dentist is safer, and more effective, than attempting a DIY approach
One of the most straightforward ways to give your teeth a visible boost is to have them whitened. You will, no doubt, have seen numerous advertisements on TV for whitening toothpastes and other similar products.
There is no doubt that these companies are tapping into a lucrative market, but unfortunately, the products on offer can produce disappointing results, as we shall see in a few minutes.
At the Synergy Clinic, our professional teeth whitening treatment is one of our most popular. We offer two ways of achieving this; either a one hour ‘in clinic’ treatment, or a custom kit that you can use at home, but which takes a little longer to achieve the same level of whiteness.
Teeth whitening toothpastes
Before we look at the treatments that we offer at our Addlestone dental clinic, it is worth investigating the pros and cons of using a whitening toothpaste. These are now widely available and it is natural that patients are tempted to use them. Unfortunately, any improvements produced are likely to be relatively minor and users may well be disappointed. There may even be some risk to the health of your teeth in some cases.
There are two ways in which a whitening toothpaste may attempt to whiten your teeth. Some may include additional abrasive elements that are designed to remove surface staining from your teeth. These can also damage the enamel surface of your teeth, especially if you brush too often or too hard. Others use a whitening agent similar to that used by dentists. The difference is that, because this ingredient is potentially dangerous if misused, toothpaste manufacturers are restricted by law in the amount that they can use, and can only use a fraction of the amount that professionals can. The end results are likely to fall a long way short of what the user had hoped for.
These toothpastes may have a useful role however, if used following a professional whitening treatment, and may help to extend the length of time before the results of the treatment start to fade. We are happy to discuss this with you during your treatment consultation.
One hour teeth whitening
One of the fastest, safest and most effective ways of having whiter teeth is to have a one hour in-house treatment. This is done by first of all protecting the soft tissue of your mouth i.e. gums and lips, and then applying a whitening gel to the teeth. This is then activated with a UV light which speeds up the process. The whitening gel will not only help to remove surface staining, but also lightens the inner part of your teeth which naturally darken as we become older. One hour later, the gel will be removed and you will see an instant significant improvement in the colour of your teeth.
Home whitening kits
An alternative is to have your teeth whitened at home. This is a slower process and can take a few weeks before the level of whiteness achieved with an-in house treatment can be attained.
In order to have this treatment, you will first need to visit our Addlestone practice to have impressions taken of your teeth. This ensures that the trays that the whitening gel are put into fit securely and comfortably, minimising any risk of soft tissue burns from the active ingredient. You will need to wear these trays at home for a short while each day, gradually improving the whiteness of your teeth to a level that you are happy with.
It is worth mentioning that a similar kit can be found in some chemists. We recommend that exercise caution before you use these. Although they do contain similar active ingredients, again, they are limited, by law, as to the amount that they can include. Whilst more effective than the whitening toothpastes, they still cannot match a professional whitening treatment. In addition, the trays in these kits are a ‘one size fits all’ and any leakage of the whitening gel may lead to painful and unsightly irritation of the lips and gums.
How white is white?
Some patients who have considered a whitening treatment have expressed concern about ending up with dazzlingly white teeth that look unnatural. Whilst remarkable results can be attained, the desired level of whiteness will be discussed beforehand and the treatment can be adjusted to the degree that you want your teeth whitened. Whilst some people do opt for the ‘whitest white’ possible, others prefer a more gradual approach. Either way, we are happy to help!
If you are unhappy because of stained teeth, or teeth that have become dull with age, why not come and discuss it with us and find out how we can help you to achieve a brighter whiter smile. You can contact the Synergy Clinic in Addlestone by calling us on 01932 856541.