Teeth whitening treatments are popular. While results can vary with individuals the modern techniques are considered safe and effective once your teeth have been assessed by the dentist.
Teeth are very slightly porous, leaving your teeth to naturally darken over time. Smoking and diet can also affect the shade of your teeth.
There are 3 main types of teeth whitening treatments available at Wendouree Dental:
- Professional in-chair teeth whitening
- Home whitening kit with custom trays
- Internal and specialised bleaching for your teeth
Take-Home Whitening Kit
The most cost-effective way of whitening your teeth is with a take home whitening kit. Moulds are taken of the teeth and guards are made that keep the bleach concentrated.
Brushing and flossing is still an integral part of the teeth whitening procedure, but take care not to over brush as this can cause sensitivity on any worn root surfaces of teeth.
If you do experience any sensitivity there are simple steps you can take to manage it. Please let the team at Wendouree Dental know about your sensitivity.
We recommend using the teeth whitening system gives good results wearing them for two hours a day or overnight for a number of weeks. However very bad stains, like Tetracycline stains can take 17 to 20 weeks for an acceptable result. Which can still be better value than multiple veneers or crowns.
Commonly, darker stained old white fillings can detract from a smile. In these cases we recommend patients have their teeth whitened first, before replacing the fillings as it is easier to match the bleached tooth colour rather than just guess at the beginning.
Often the same bleach moulds can be used or adjusted rather than creating a new mould. However, whenever a filling is placed there is always the risk of needing new moulds if the difference is too great.
In-Chair Teeth Whitening
In-chair teeth whitening provides quicker and often more effective results than in-chair teeth whitening. However, in-chair teeth whitening can also leave patients susceptible to slightly more sensitivity than a home kit.
Internal and specialised bleaching
This bleaching procedure is sometimes recommended for a root filled front tooth. This can be complicated as a root filled tooth will often not whiten well enough. The stains are often much deeper and as a result of a dead nerve. Often I find that the root canal is quite dark while the crown only looks slightly off colour, but the stain becomes more evident over time. If the root filled tooth is having a strengthening or retentive post placed then the bleach needs to be done first as the posts are often impossible to remove if the tooth becomes darker later. There are many other specialised bleaching techniques that can assist the end result and the use of these depends on many factors.
To maintain a whiter smile, top up treatments are available, while a second more permanent option is also available. Porcelain veneers are a permanent solution to whiter teeth. Often bleaching before placing porcelain veneers is recommended, especially with a darker root filled tooth that could be showing through the gum.
Endodontic Bleaching is the bleaching of a root filled tooth. This is recommended for most root filled front teeth that could go dark. Sometimes it is appropriate to recommend this for a back tooth where aesthetics is a concern. This type of bleaching is also referred to as an ‘Internal Bleach’ and can take a number of visits before a tooth can be properly restored.
These stains are often much deeper and as a result of a bleeding or dead nerve. Often the root canal is quite dark and the crown becomes darker over time as the stain soaks through
If a root filled tooth is having a strengthening or retentive post placed then the bleach needs to be done first as the posts are often impossible to remove if the tooth becomes darker later. There are many other specialised bleaching techniques that can assist the end result and the use of these depends on many factors.
Not all patients are suitable candidates for teeth whitening. If you would like more information on teeth whitening or to book an appointment, please contact the Wendouree Dental team on 03 5339 3770.