People sometimes don’t like the colour of their teeth and they may look at the option of Teeth Whitening to make their teeth look whiter and brighter. So what exactly is teeth whitening?
Teeth Whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that involves the application of a “whitening agent” to the surface of the teeth with the aim of brightening the colour of the tooth enamel. The whitening agent is a specially-formulated bleach designed to safely remove surface and deeper stains from the tooth enamel.
Teeth Whitening is different to “Internal Bleaching”, which is a treatment that can only be done to teeth after root canal treatment.
At Garran Dental there are two ways to experience Teeth Whitening.
- In-Chair Whitening
- At Home Whitening
This is the fastest way to achieve results through application of a whitening agent, and, as the name suggests, requires an appointment in our office so that the whitening procedure can be carried out as you sit in the dental chair.
An In-Chair Whitening appointment takes about an hour and a half. First we isolate the teeth so that we can apply the whitening agent directly to the teeth without touching the gum, lips or cheeks. To do this, a barrier is painted onto the gums and the lips and cheeks are carefully retracted away from the teeth.
Once the teeth are isolated the whitening agent is applied to the teeth as a gel. The gel contains a high concentration of the whitening agent and it’s activated with a light which is a very high voltage LED light. The light makes the whitening agent act more quickly. Two-to-three applications of the whitening agent occurs within one appointment, with each application being thoroughly rinsed off before the next one is placed.
We use the Zoom Whitening System. You can read more about it here.
At the end of your appointment we’ll give you some information about how to take care of your teeth over the next few days so that you get the best result.
At Home Whitening
If you prefer to do your whitening at home we can provide you with a Home Whitening kit.For Home Whitening you’ll need two appointments. First we take impressions of your teeth, and these are sent to our lab so they can construct your whitening moulds which will hold the whitening gel against the teeth you wish to whiten.
In the second appointment we check the whitening moulds to make sure they fit comfortably and there’s no leakage. Once that’s all been assessed, we show you how to fit your whitening moulds, how to dispense the gel so that you get enough in the tray and not too much overflow, and we’ll make sure you know how often to wear the moulds.
There are two ways to use home whitening: you can wear the moulds during the day for half an hour, or wear them overnight while you sleep, which usually adds up to 6-8 hours. Depending on your preference, we’ll provide you with the appropriate strength whitening agent. The gel we provide for short-period daytime wear is stronger than the gel used for night-time wear.
What Are The Benefits Of At-Home Whitening?
Taking the whitening process home means you can do the whitening in the privacy of your own home and take charge of the speed at which the process is done. This is particularly important if your teeth are sensitive, or if the dentist has identified that sensitivity could be a concern during whitening.
People with sensitivity can choose to apply the whitening gel less frequently or for shorter periods of time, and to intersperse the whitening periods with periods devoted to using a desensitising product. While whitening will take longer to achieve, the comfort levels are vastly improved fro people who are vulnerable to highly sensitive teeth.
You can read more about tooth sensitivity and whitening here.