As Principal clinician at K Dental Studios, Irene is dedicated to maintaining the highest standards possible at the practice and patients regularly ask her about the best teeth whitening methods. Here are Irene’s answers to the most asked teeth whitening questions.
A professional clean using a Jet Polish is often sufficient at removing external stains, but it won’t significantly lighten the teeth. However, this is usually the first step in the whitening process. A Jet Polish clean is very effective at removing external stains between each tooth using a gentle jet of powder and water. The Jet Polish really does jump-start the whitening process and our patients love it.
Whitening (or bleaching) is the process of using a whitening gel to remove the stains that build up in part of the tooth. These are normal stains that can be picked up from everyday drinking, smoking or eating. The safest and best results are administered under the supervision of a dentist in a controlled manner following a full assessment.
There are many off-the-shelf products available and advertising or packaging suggests they will whiten your teeth, yet none provide actual supporting clinical evidence of their success in achieving a whiter smile.
Whitening procedures should always be performed under the supervision of qualified dental professional.
At K Dental Studios we advocate a clinically proven process using customised trays and 16% Carbamide Peroxide (6% Hydrogen Peroxide), which is a safe yet effective dose. The safety and efficacy of Hydrogen Peroxide is well established and has been used for whitening teeth with minimal risk for many years. Providing patients with more controllable, effective and long-lasting results compared to in-surgery whitening procedures.
Often patients consider veneers or crowns as a way to brighten their smile. This method should be considered very carefully as it requires cutting down the tooth. It’s not a treatment we recommend here at the Studios unless absolutely necessary as further maintenance is necessary.
A key benefit is the overall lower cost to the patient. This is really important to us. With in-surgery treatment, patients need customised trays in order to continue the whitening process at home. This simply increases the overall cost of treatment. Another factor is that there is no scientific evidence that suggests in-surgery whitening is the more effective method.
Overall, Dentist administered Home whitening is no less effective and it’s the most controllable whitening treatment. Patients are able to start and stop if their teeth become sensitive and the trays can be reused year after year. Although we recommend an assessment before reusing them to make sure they still fit well and can perform their purpose safely.
At the initial consultation, we will determine that you are dentally fit and healthy. We’ll compare the colour of your teeth against our shade scale and provide a rough guide as to how much whiter your teeth can become. Comparison photos are taken, followed by an impression of your teeth which we use to make the bespoke acrylic whitening trays right here at the practice. At your next appointment we ensure the finished trays fit well around the teeth, are easy to insert and remove, before demonstrating how to apply the whitening gels.
It is important to establish the cause of tooth sensitivity prior to tooth whitening treatment. Having sensitive teeth does not necessarily preclude you from teeth whitening and sensitive teeth can benefit from pre-treatment using a high fluoride toothpaste.
Following our recommended home maintenance regime should keep your teeth white. The whiteness will fade however if you smoke, drink tea or coffee, red wine and eat dishes that stain teeth such as curry.
The condition of your toothbrush also significantly influences the whiteness so changing your toothbrush or the head of an electric toothbrush every two to three months will help. Try to avoid using hard bristles as these can be abrasive. Flossing and interdental brushes can transform a smile by removing some of the staining in between teeth.
Some patients actually feel that shortly after the whitening procedure, their teeth have gone back to their original colour. This is not the case, it’s simply because they have become accustomed to the new lighter shade. Checking the before and after photos makes it’s easy to check whether your teeth have discoloured again.
Patients wishing to top up can do so using their trays but we recommend a thorough assessment by a dentist first to avoid any harm to your teeth and gums. Bleaching gels should only be purchased from a dentist to ensure the product is safe and legal to be used in the UK.
These are best avoided. We do not recommend the use of smokers or whitening toothpastes as they often contain small beads that whiten the teeth by rubbing the facade of the tooth. Over time they wear down the enamel and the teeth will appear more yellow as the dentine shines through. Excessive use can lead to increased sensitivity as well.
We provide professional teeth whitening treatment in a safe and controlled manner. Before and after photos are taken to ensure we can track your progress during your review appointments.
Our whitening trays are made in house and treatment can start as early as 24 hours after the impressions are taken. This speeds up the whole process.