Tooth Whitening

Tooth Whitening

Toothpastes

Whitening toothpastes are generally not worth paying much more than your normal brand. All toothpastes can be marketed as whitening because they all remove stain. The better whitening tooth pastes may have a small advantage over the standard formulations. They are good at helping to maintain results but offer less scope to provide the noticeable change that most people want.

Over the counter kits from high street retailers.

The law means that the active chemical in these products is at low concentrations. In our opinion they fail to achieve the results that patients are looking for.

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teeth-whiteningInternet Kits

In a word …. don’t. The potential to get the wrong material and use it incorrectly is too great to risk damaging your teeth. You do get what you pay for and dentist supervised home kits are generally good value for money that provide effective and safe results.

Dentist supervised tooth whitening

There are three different tooth whitening systems. The final result does vary between systems and from patient to patient. Tray (home) whitening uses thin shells with a whitening gel generally worn overnight for 10-14 days. Recently Colgate have produced whitening gel that achieves good results worn for as little as 30 minutes per evening. After testing the claim on one of our Nurses we got a 10 shade improvement in 10 days.

Power whitening such as Zoom! is a one hour treatment activated by a high intensity lamp at the surgery. Because it takes an hour of surgery time the cost is higher than tray whitening. The results that we achieve are similar to tray whitening but there is a greater potential for sensitivity.

Hybrid systems such as “enlighten” start with two weeks overnight tray whitening followed by a one hour power whitening at the surgery. The combined enlighten system offers the best results of all the whitening options.

teeth-whitening-trayI generally prefer tray whitening when:-

1. There is a need to match to existing crowns or veneers that are being replaced.
2. If you are worried about the shade becoming too bright.
3. Value for money
4. Previous tooth sensitivity.

I prefer power whitening such as Zoom! when:-

1. You have a tight deadline (e.g. family wedding next week).
2. You can’t sleep wearing the trays.
3. If you are uncomfortable administering your own gel treatment.

I prefer hybrid systems like “enlighten” if:-
1. You want the maximum result in the minimum time and are prepared to pay a little more.