Bleaching

The simplest and easiest way of whitening teeth is to bleach them. Generally, this is done by taking a mold of your teeth and making thin plastic bleaching trays from them: you then wear them at night for a period of up to a month. We expect to see an improvement of at least two shade tabs from bleaching. At the concentrations and the times we use, bleaching is safe, and done under supervision, the tooth structure is not weakened.

It’s also possible to whiten teeth using a ‘chair bleach’, a short treatment which involves placing a much higher concentration bleaching gel on the teeth while protecting the gums. A LED light ‘QuickSmile’ is used. Generally one 1 hr appointment will be needed. It may be followed up with some home bleaching as well.
Both techniques can achieve a similar result. Speak to our prosthodontists as to which technique will suit you.

There are only a few problems with bleaching. Sometimes the teeth develop a slight sensitivity to cold; in this case, we usually recommend reducing the bleach time to two hours a day, or every alternate night. You may also experience sensitivity if you have exposed roots, and sometimes the gums can become sensitive – desensitising solutions or toothpastes may be helpful in these cases.

Not all teeth can be bleached successfully, however. If the teeth are grey, the results are less predictable. Please note, as well, that fillings and porcelain veneers or crowns cannot be bleached. If you have discoloured fillings, they may need to be replaced or resurfaced after the teeth have been bleached.

Results generally last up to two years, and the teeth don’t usually get as dark again as they were before bleaching. We recommend you avoid smoking, coffee, red wine and cola drinks to prevent staining and prolong the treatment. Note that it’s possible to rebleach when necessary using the same bleaching trays, saving you money.