Feeling embarrassed about stained teeth can really dent a person’s confidence. At our London specialist dental practice, we see many people who say they long to break into a heart-felt, uninhibited smile – and that’s why they are thinking about tooth whitening.
What are my tooth whitening options?
Tooth whitening techniques target the food and drink stain particles that are trapped in the surface layers of the enamel. One option is a lightening gel applied to the surface of the teeth, either at the clinic or at home, or, as is most popular among our patients, a combination of both. Patients are provided with whitening gel and fitted plastic trays which they wear for an hour a day over a two-week period. This is then complemented by an hour-long session at our London clinic where your dentist will apply a stronger gel that can only be administered by a qualified dentist. There is also a laser tooth whitening option; this involves painting a hydrogen peroxide solution onto your teeth which is then subjected to a strong light that speeds up the lightening process. After treatment by a dental professional, you can expect the results to last for up to three years; avoiding food and drinks that stain – tea, coffee and red wine, for example – will keep your teeth whiter and brighter for longer.
Are there any risks?
Tooth whitening is a ‘dental procedure’ and therefore only dental professionals are legally qualified to perform such treatment. The most common side effect is sensitivity which will vary in degree. Almost always, the sensitivity goes away within a few weeks and no permanent harm is done to the teeth. However, in rare cases, irreversible tooth damage can occur. During your consultation at our specialist dental practice, your dentist will discuss your dental health history, asking if you have suffered from sensitive teeth or gum disease in the past, and explain the potential risks.