A brighter smile can positively affect other people's perceptions of you, as well as your own self-esteem. A beautiful smile accentuates your facial features and natural beauty. With whiter teeth, you may be more willing to smile and laugh in public. In turn, this can have important benefits for your professional and social life. At Grey Lynn Dental you can be assured that you will only be treated by a fully qualified professional cosmetic dentist and always receive the highest quality services.
It is important for a cosmetic dentist to see you prior to commencing tooth whitening. They will ensure that your teeth are suitable and help you select the most appropriate tooth whitening option for you.
To decide whether teeth whitening will work well for you, your dentist will first examine your teeth and gums. After determining your candidacy for tooth whitening treatment, you will discuss your goals and likely results. With realistic expectations for treatment, including discussion of your budget and lifestyle, you are more likely to be pleased with your outcome!
Before beginning your whitening treatment of choice, your cosmetic dentist or hygienist needs to clean your teeth to ensure that food particles, bacteria and tartar (calculus) do not interfere with the whitening agent.
Types of Tooth Whitening
Over the counter methods
Whitening toothpastes will not bleach your teeth. They have a mildly abrasive effect, and some can lighten your teeth by up to one shade.
Whitening mouthwash contains small amounts of peroxide. You will use these just as you would use a traditional anti-bacterial mouth wash. Many experts believe that whitening rinses are not as effective as other methods, since the peroxide is only in contact with your teeth for about 60 seconds.
- Pre-made whitening trays
Store brought whitening trays often fit uncomfortably. Because they are not customised for your teeth, the gel may ooze out and irritate your gums. We recommend professionally fitted custom trays instead.
Whitening strips are thin pieces of plastic coated in peroxide. You will attach the strips to the front of your teeth, and you will wear them about 30minutes a day for 2 weeks. The results are variable.
Take home Whitening
If you choose this method, you will receive custom-made reusable whitening trays. They will fit comfortably over your teeth and you will fill them with whitening gel. You will wear the trays for 30-60 minutes every day for up to 7-10 days depending on your dentist's instructions and the strength of the whitening gel used.
This involves a single visit procedure where the dentist will use whitening gel with a much stronger concentration of peroxide that is not available to buy over the counter. The process takes about an hour where the gel will break apart the bonds between stained tooth molecules, giving you a brighter smile. A specially formatted light is used to achieve a faster result. The light will activate the gel allowing the oxygen to penetrate your teeth more thoroughly.
All in-office whitening procedures include a complimentary prescription strength home maintenance kit to help you maintain your new smile and keep it looking its best.
Combining the in-office and take home methods gives you a more consistent, long-term result. The colour of your whitened teeth will depend on several factors which include the following:
- The quality and thickness of the tooth enamel
- The severity of staining present
- Lifestyle and dietary habits
- The type of whitening system used
- The number and duration of treatments done
- Existing fillings, veneers or crowns on teeth being whitened will remain the same colour. Only natural tooth enamel can be whitened.
Temporary side effects
This is the most common side effect. It will typically dissipate within a few days of your treatment. You are more likely to experience this side effect if you already have sensitive teeth or get sensitive teeth following a hygiene appointment.
This will also dissipate after tooth whitening is stopped.
Though rare, the risks of teeth whitening include the following:
- Permanent gum, tooth or root sensitivity.
- Uneven or 'patchy' results
- Damage to the mucous membranes (soft tissues) in your mouth.
Tooth whitening is not recommended for children under 15 years of age or during pregnancy.
Other cosmetic treatments that brighten your teeth and enhance your smile:
Although tooth whitening may be all that you need to transform your smile, very often some of the following common procedures are used in combination to produce the best result.
- Porcelain Veneers
These can be a great way to conceal severe intrinsic stains which do not respond to traditional whitening treatments. They can also re-shape your teeth, close gaps in your smile, conceal erosion and make minor orthodontic adjustments. These thin shells will be custom made to match your smile, and they will attach directly to the front of your teeth. You may choose how many teeth have a veneer placed while you enhance the rest of your smile with whitening treatment. In this case, the whitening will be done first so your veneers will match the new colour of your teeth. Note, that veneers will not respond to future whitening. Therefore, it is important to stay up-to-date with your touch up treatments to ensure that your natural enamel and veneers will still match.
- Bonding or Composite Veneers
Tooth coloured composite resin is applied to your chosen teeth and carefully sculpted so that it covers up cosmetic flaws and matches the shape of your teeth. The material is hardened with a dental light and polished.
We recommend more conservative treatments such as onlays or bonding, to correct aesthetic concerns. However, if you have an existing crowned tooth that needs replacement, a new crown will be designed. Crowns are tooth-shaped caps that are custom made and designed to fit over your natural tooth. They can be made from a number of materials such as porcelain, zirconia or composite resin.
- Orthodontic Treatment
Like many patients, you may desire both whiter and straighter teeth. Whitening is generally performed after your orthodontic care is complete.
- Smile Makeover
Whenever you combine two or more cosmetic treatments, this is referred to as a smile make over. Whitening is one of the most common treatments to include in a makeover. It is often the finishing touch for the treatment. In addition to the treatments mentioned already, a smile makeover could include gum or tooth contouring, fillings and other restorative treatments such as bridges, implants and dentures.
We invite you to discuss your concerns and other options to help you select the right procedures for you.
If you have worn, broken and or missing teeth, proper restoration of your mouth should look natural and feel comfortable and balanced. Restoring your mouth has many benefits to your overall health and well-being. You are able to speak, chew and smile confidently allowing your self-esteem and personality to shine through. With the advent of bonded ceramics, implants and the latest composite filling materials, we can make profound changes to a broken down dentition.
Did you know that the average adult between the ages of 20 and 64 has three or more decayed or missing teeth? If you are missing one or more teeth, there are plenty of reasons to correct the problem. For one thing, a large space between your teeth may affect how you speak or eat. Even if it's not noticeable, a missing molar can affect how you chew. Remaining teeth may shift and in some cases, bone loss can occur around a missing tooth. With today's advances, you don't have to suffer from missing teeth.
Here are some options to replace a lost tooth or teeth. Talk to our dentist about which option is best for you:
- Bridges – anchored to your adjacent teeth, these can be removable or fixed, depending on your mouth, the dentist's recommendation and your needs.
- Dentures – an option if you've lost all or most of your teeth.
- Implants – most similar to a natural tooth.