Tooth whitening

Tooth Whitening can be a highly effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface.  It cannot make a complete colour change; but it will lighten the existing shade.

Why would I need my teeth whitened?
There are a number of reasons why you may like to have your teeth whitened.  Very few people have brilliant white teeth, and our teeth can also become more discoloured as we get older.  Your teeth can also be stained on the surface through various food and drinks.  Smoking can also stain teeth.

What does tooth whitening involve?
Professional bleaching is the most common form of effective tooth whitening.  Chris Ballard will be able to advise you if this is a suitable treatment for you.  The preferred method I use in my Practice is the use of whitening gel held in whitening trays that we specially prepare to fit your teeth for your own personal use at home.  These trays are a little like gum shields but are much smaller and thinner and are very comfortable.  The active ingredient used is either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.  This breaks down and releases oxygen into the tooth structure bringing about the whitening.

How long does this take?
The total treatment can usually be completed within three to four weeks as long as the home applications are carried out correctly as prescribed by the Practice.

How long will my teeth stay whiter?
The effects of whitening can last up to at least three years, but they frequently last a lot longer.  However, this will vary from patient to patient.  The effect is less likely to last as long if you smoke, or eat, drink products that stain teeth.  It will, of course, be possible to top up the whitening at any time; this is not just a once only treatment.

What are the side effects?
Side effects could include: sensitivity, sore throat, white patches on the gums, all of which are of a temporary nature and should disappear within a few days of the treatment finishing.

St Mary's Dental Practice
21a St Mary's Street
Wallingford
Oxon
OX10 0EW
Tel: 01491 825252
[email protected]

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