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Teeth Whitening

Teeth WhiteningTooth whitening can be a very effective way of lightening the natural color of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface or damaging it. Usually the original shade of the tooth is whitened to a lighter color, rather than being turned completely white.
Bleaching should be done only under a dentist's care. Tooth sensitivity and irritation to soft tissues can occur during bleaching treatment, but these effects are transient.  The effects of long-term tooth bleaching are unknown and need to be researched, especially since the effect is not permanent and many individuals end up undergoing periodic bleaching treatments.

Why would I need my teeth whitened?

As we get older our teeth get darker. This is partly due to our getting older, but it is also caused by the foods we eat and drink, and by other habits such as smoking. Tea, coffee, blackcurrant juice, red wine and other foods that have strong colors can have an effect on the overall color of our teeth. Teeth may also darken as a result of some antibiotics.
Some people naturally have a more gray shade of teeth. Other people have white spots on their teeth. This can be caused by early tooth decay, or illness when the tooth was forming.

There are a number of reasons why you might get your teeth whitened. Everyone is different; and just as our hair and skin color vary, so do our teeth. Very few people have brilliant-white teeth.
‘Calculus' or tartar can also affect the color of your teeth. Some people may have staining under the enamel surface or tiny cracks can appear in the teeth that take up stains.

What does tooth whitening involve?

Professional bleaching is the most usual method of tooth whitening. We will assess you first to see whether tooth whitening is suitable for you. Then we will tell you about the options available for tooth whitening and which will be the most suitable for you.

We use ‘chair-side whitening' technique at Smile Savers. You will be told if you are suitable for the treatment, and we will supervise it. First the dentist will put a gel
(Liquid dam) on your gums to protect them. Then the whitening gel is painted onto your teeth and a blue light is shone onto the gel to speed up the whitening reaction.
The ‘active ingredient' in the whitening product is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide that are available in different strengths. As the active ingredient is broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel and dentine of the teeth and the tooth color is made lighter.

How long does home whitening take?

The total length of the whitening treatment can vary depending on how discolored your teeth are and the shade you want to get to. You may need between one to three sessions and each session is of 15 minutes. After the first session, the dentist will assess the shade achieved and will go for the second session if you opt for even lighter shade.

After the whitening sessions are completed, the dentist will apply fluoride or desensitizing gel on your lightened teeth to promote re-mineralization and minimize post-treatment sensitivity.

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