Tooth Whitening

Q. Why are my teeth discoloured or darker in shade?

Teeth may be discoloured for various reasons and will either be intrinsic (internal) for example previously root canal treated teeth, or extrinsic (external) for example surface staining like smoking or red wine. External surface stains usually respond best to whitening treatment.

Only a qualified a dentist can assess, based on your dental and medical history, whether tooth whitening is suitable for you to ensure you get the best results possible. Before going ahead with whitening, we always suggest booking an appointment for a comprehensive check-up and x-rays if necessary.

Q. Am I suitable for tooth whitening?

Not everyone is a good candidate for tooth whitening

  • Discolouration caused by medicines or fluoride
  • Defective or absent tooth enamel
  • Young age, if permanent teeth are still developing
  • Pregnancy or breast feeding

Q. So what methods of tooth whitening do we use?

There are many methods of whitening, some better and safer than others. There are two methods we use here at Adina’s Dental Cosmetics. In Chair, also known as Zoom, and Take Home Whitening.

Zoom is in a chair whitening procedure performed at the dental clinic that is designed to lighten the colour of your teeth using a combination of hydrogen peroxide gel and a specially designed visible LED light. It produces maximum whitening results in the shortest possible time so when you leave here you’ll have a beautiful white smile!

As the name says it, this method of whitening is done in the comfort of your own home. It’s a sticky, viscous gel that is made up of 18% Carbamide Peroxide which is a safe, gentle bleaching agent and it is as easy as popping into the specially made tray for 1 hour per day or overnight while you sleep for 7-10 days/nights.

Q. What should I expect after bleaching?

It’s all about having realistic expectations

Most people will have whiter teeth after treatment. However, they may not become as white as you had hoped. Teeth yellowed or darkened by medicines, trauma or disease respond unpredictably and the dentist cannot anticipate if the treatment will work or to what degree. Darkly stained yellow or yellow-brown teeth frequently achieve better results than people with grey or bluish-grey teeth.

Please keep in mind that whitening treatments will not lighten artificial teeth. For example crown and veneers or porcelain, composite or other restorative materials. These types of restorations may need to be replaced at your expense to match newly whitened teeth.

Previous orthodontic treatments may cause teeth to whiten unevenly if any resin from the treatment was not properly removed from the teeth, either due to residual resin remaining on the teeth or over polishing upon removal.

Q. How long will it last?

Results from most whitening treatments last one to two years so we recommend a combination of in chair and at home treatment, which we will explain further on your initial consultation. Depending on a person’s lifestyle habits such as smoking, drinking and oral hygiene management these results may not last as long. With regular professional cleaning, it will also keep your teeth whiter for longer.

Q. I’ve heard that tooth whitening can cause sensitivity?

During the first 24hrs after Zoom treatment, some patients can experience some tooth sensitivity or pain. This is normal and usually mild. In rare cases it can persist for longer periods of time in susceptible individuals.

Who will be more susceptible to sensitivity?

  • People with existing sensitivity
  • recession of exposing root surfaces
  • exposed dentin
  • untreated caries
  • cracked teeth
  • abfractions
  • oral tissue injury
  • open cavities
  • Leaking fillings, or other dental conditions that cause sensitivity or allow higher penetration of the gel into the tooth

Generally these problems should be treated first before any whitening procedures or be discussed with the dentist.

Q. What should I be aware of?

Over the counter kits, whitening toothpaste, sticky whitening strips, special ‘’paint’’ applied with a brush and ‘’one size fits all’’ plastic trays that are fitted with bleaching gel are cheaper than professional whitening, but any damage they cause may be expensive to repair. For example, some whitening products contain acids that can dissolve tooth enamel. Unsupervised, long term or repeated use of over the counter kits increase the risk of such side effects.

Note: The aim of this general information is to educate the reader about Tooth Whitening and may not essentially contain all aspects of the treatment. It would be beneficial to see us for a consultation to discuss the procedure and all possible side effects.

Give us a call on (03) 5821 2388 to book an appointment and our dentist will be more than happy to answer all of your concerns.