If you are whitening your teeth in preparation for a special occasion or event, it’s important to check with your dentist about how long the treatment is likely to take.
Usually the process of whitening is quite quick: for many people, great results can be achieved in the chair within 90 minutes, while at home whitening might take 2-4 weeks to achieve the same outcome. In both cases, a consultation and thorough examination must precede the commencement of treatment, which, depending on availability, can add another week or two to the total treatment time.
Sometimes there are circumstances which can delay whitening.
There Is Active Dental Disease Present
If there is active dental disease, like tooth decay or gum disease, this needs to be addressed before whitening can go ahead. Your dentist will do a thorough examination of your teeth and will use x-rays to check for active dental disease and will let you know if any treatment is needed.
The amount and type of treatment required will impact the amount of time required before whitening can proceed.
There Are Visible Tooth-Coloured Fillings Or Crowns
Crowns and tooth-coloured fillings don’t change colour under the influence of whitening agents. If you have these present in areas that are visible, they may appear darker or more yellow once your teeth have been whitened. To achieve a uniformly brighter smile, the old fillings and/or crowns will need to be replaced, which can add days, weeks or even months to the overall treatment time.
The Teeth Are Hyper-Sensitive
If your teeth are very sensitive you may need to approach whitening at a slower pace than other people are able to. That’s because the whitening gel can make teeth much more sensitive when applied in moderate or strong concentrations or for lengthy periods of time.
You may need to do At Home Whitening, and wear the trays for shorter periods of time and only every second or third day. You’ll still achieve the same result: it will just take you longer to get there.
Don’t worry! Dr Goyal is very focused on the challenges that people with sensitive teeth face during whitening, and she will work closely with you to ensure that your whitening treatment is as comfortable an experience as possible.
Whitening Alone Won’t Achieve The Desired Outcome
It is easy to assume that whitening will successfully brighten the colour of any smile, and while this is usually the case, for some people whitening (or whitening alone) won’t achieve the outcome they are looking for.
Sometimes dental veneers will provide a more predictable, more successful outcome, or the person will need a combination of whitening and other treatments.
During your pre-whitening consultation, Dr Goyal will assess your teeth, gums and smile and identify whether your teeth are likely to benefit from whitening at all, or whether other treatments will need to be included.