Tooth Whitening - Dr Chris Hart: Cosmetic Dentistry Melbourne

Tooth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a simple way to drastically improve the aesthetics of your smile.

Everyone wants a beautiful smile, but not everyone has naturally white teeth. Everyday factors such as coffee, wine, some medications, and the natural ageing process can all contribute to a dull, worn-out looking smile.

Teeth whitening performed or administered by a dental professional is one of the easiest and most effective ways to add vitality to and brighten your smile. Dr Chris Hart Prosthodontist offers take-home teeth whitening kits, so you can gradually whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home.

What is tooth whitening?

Tooth whitening involves the use of a medical-grade bleach to lift and remove stains from your natural teeth. Your prosthodontist may recommend undertaking a whitening treatment before commencing crown or bridge work, so your prosthesis can be matched to your new brighter smile, rather than to the potentially worn-out colour of your natural teeth.

Professional teeth-whitening treatments use a medical-grade, pH-balanced peroxide to whiten teeth. It is administered so the bleach touches only the teeth, reducing the risk for irritation of the soft tissues of the mouth. The hydrogen peroxide effectively penetrates the tooth to break-up stains and to remove discolouration.

What is a take-home tooth whitening kit?

A take-home teeth whitening kit is, as the name suggests, a way for patients to whiten their teeth at home. As it is provided by a dental professional, it is stronger, safer and considerably more effective than over-the-counter whitening solutions. Your prosthodontist will take a mould of your teeth and custom-make bleaching trays which fit comfortably over your teeth. The bleach will then be applied using the tray in the comfort of your own home, until the desired shade is achieved over a period of time.

How long does the entire treatment process take?

Most diligent patients should notice changes to the colour of their smile inside approximately two weeks. This means wearing the bleaching trays for approximately 60-90 minutes each day and avoiding foods which are likely to stain your teeth, or compromise the whitening process. For best results, whitening treatments need to be maintained approximately every six months.

Is teeth-whitening safe?

Tooth whitening treatments are considered to be safe when procedures are followed as directed. Having your treatment performed or administered by a professional is also beneficial, as it ensures the correct strength and type is used for your unique teeth.

Many patients are concerned that whitening treatments are damaging to the teeth because of the sensitivity they experience. However, this is not the case. In order to remove tough stains, the bleach must open the internal channels of the tooth, which may cause some sensitivity. It is a similar sensation to what you may experience when biting on an ice cream and is nothing to be concerned about. Any sensitivity is usually brief and should last no longer than a day.

How do teeth whitening kits work?

Your prosthodontist will custom-make bite trays that are designed to perfectly fit over your teeth, to ensure equal coverage once the whitening gel is placed into the trays. The whitening gel given to you will contain either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide which are active whitening agents. Once the gel is applied to your teeth, it breaks down into water and oxygen ions. Once these oxygen ions come into contact with the enamel on your teeth, they begin attacking the long stain molecules, breaking them down into colourless short stain molecules. Your saliva then naturally removes these short stain molecules.

Are teeth whitening treatments suitable for everyone?

Teeth whitening treatments are generally suitable for patients with healthy teeth and gums.

Teeth whitening isn’t recommended for:

  1. Children under the age of 16 as teeth whitening treatments could cause irritation to the tooth pulp or result in sensitivity;
  2. Pregnant and breastfeeding women;
  3. Individuals allergic to the peroxide contained in whitening products;
  4. Individuals with tooth and gum sensitivity;
  5. Individuals who have receding gums or defective tooth restorations;
  6. Individuals with untreated cavities, eroded enamel, exposed tooth roots, and gum disease;
  7. Those with dental fillings, crowns, bonding, bridges or veneers- as the material used in these restorations do not whiten, resulting un uneven whitening between teeth with the restorations and teeth without the restorations.

Cosmetic Dentist Melbourne

To find out more, please contact our friendly team on: 03 9663 5264.