There is a proliferation of whitening treatments to help you achieve a whiter smile, but how does teeth whitening work? It’s a question worth asking because while teeth whitening is commonplace, you should not overlook the safety and effectiveness of each treatment.
Teeth whitening is a process that removes stains from your teeth to make them look whiter and more attractive. The safest and most effective whitening treatments are performed by a dentist using either an in-office or at-home product to achieve the desired results.
How does teeth whitening work from Leichhardt Dental?
We offer two forms of teeth whitening procedures. Laser teeth whitening (often called power whitening) is carried out in the dental chair at our clinic. We also offer at-home whitening treatments, which you use yourself to whiten your teeth at home.
Teeth whitening procedures remove stains on the teeth’s outer layer—the enamel. If the discolouration of your teeth is from the inside (as a result of antibiotic staining, for example), then whitening treatments will have little effect.
Hydrogen peroxide is the most aggressive bleaching agent used in whitening procedures. However, for anyone with sensitive teeth, carbamide peroxide is a gentler alternative that acts more slowly. Both bleaches work by breaking down the stains on the surface of the teeth to make the discolouration less concentrated, improving whiteness.
Laser whitening treatments are highly effective and give the most noticeable results by whitening teeth up to 14 shades. The treatment is performed in our clinic in around an hour. We apply the bleaching gel to the teeth and then use a laser to activate its whitening agents.
Take-home whitening kits
So, how does teeth whitening work with at-home kits compared to laser whitening? Typically, the results offer a more natural-looking, gradual whitening over a couple of weeks.
Two visits to our dental clinic are required. The first is for our dentist to take impressions of your teeth to create moulds from which a dental lab fabricates your custom whitening trays. The second is to collect the trays and receive a supply of whitening gel.
Treatment usually lasts two weeks (or until you have achieved your desired degree of whitening). It involves placing the whitening gel into the trays, which you then wear overnight while you sleep.
The benefit of at-home whitening treatment is that you can simply top-up the whitening effect by obtaining more gel from us.
Tips for ensuring the effectiveness of teeth whitening treatments
As teeth whitening is so common, it’s easy to forget that you should treat it as a medical procedure. You should never carry out the treatment if your dental or oral health is not in tip-top condition. If your teeth are in a state of disrepair, cosmetic procedures will not make them look any better. Furthermore, you can permanently damage your teeth and gums, leading to sensitivity, discomfort or pain.
Have your teeth professionally cleaned before you have teeth whitening
We recommend patients have their teeth cleaned professionally to remove any stubborn stains on the surface of the teeth and remove hardened plaque (tartar). This will increase the effectiveness of any whitening treatments.
Do take note that whitening treatments do not work on dental restorations, such as crowns and fillings. Although porcelain keeps its colour, composite does tend to stain. You may need to have any composite fillings replaced if they are spoiling the overall look of your newly whitened teeth.
How does teeth whitening work—The bottom line
Teeth whitening is an inexpensive and effective way of creating a brighter smile and works very well on suitable candidates. If you’d like to brighten your smile and find out more, contact us today on (02) 9100 0188 to schedule an appointment.