Dental whitening or dental bleaching is a fantastic process that can be used to lighten discoloured teeth and take years off the aging process that results in your teeth darkening over time.
The most effective system according to the research to lighten your teeth using a home bleaching system. Impressions are taken of your teeth and small, soft custom made gumshields are made of your teeth. Then you can place small amounts of the home bleaching gel into the appropriate teeth and wear them for a few hours a day. Times to achieve a good degree of whitening will depend upon several factors such as the age of the patient, the type and extent of the discolouration and the level of whitening desired. However, a good degree of whitening can be achieved by most patients within 10-14 days.
The most important point is to get good advice from an experienced cosmetic dentist over suitability of dental whitening for you and to avoid using products bought over the internet that are often unregulated and can have chemical properties that can damage your teeth with prolonged use.
Properly prescribed dental bleaching will be very safe with few consequences apart from slight possible sensitivity to extremes of temperature during the period of active bleaching. This can easily be managed with over the counter toothpastes for sensitive teeth.
Results will last for up to 2 years and can easily be maintained by keeping the gumshields safe and purchasing top up tubes of the whitening gel.
The other great use of dental whitening can be the correction of a darkened tooth as a result of a past root filling. Once the infection has been successfully treated with a root filling the tooth can be lighted by using the same at home system. However, the bleach can also be used to bleach the affected tooth from inside as well as outside safely at home over a few days. Whereas the results of internal bleaching can be less predictable great results can be achieved as shown in the following photos. Bleaching should be one of the first considerations when trying to improve a smile before other treatments such as dental bonding or veneers.
Mark was awarded his Masters Degree in Restorative dentistry in 1996 and has twenty years of experience in cosmetic dentistry and regularly teaches and lectures on the subject.