Teeth whitening is fast becoming one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments – and it’s easy to see why. It is a fast, affordable and non-invasive way to drastically improve your smile.
At our Box Hill clinic, we’ve seen the rapid rise in popularity of teeth whitening for ourselves. Over the past five years, we’ve performed more than 1,000 Zoom! teeth whitening treatments, with each patient reporting a moderate to substantial improvement to the brightness of their smile.
This article explains everything you need to know about teeth whitening, including:
- The tooth discolouration process
- The causes of staining
- Different treatment options
- The associated risks and costs
What are the different teeth whitening options?
There are three major teeth whitening options available. Each of these has varying concentrations of peroxide and different application times.
In-office teeth whitening
Are you searching for a significant colour improvement in a short period of time? If the answer's yes, in-office teeth whitening is perfect for you. This treatment involves a controlled concentration of high-strength peroxide gel. The solution is applied to your teeth by a dentist or trained technician after your gums are protected with a paint-on rubber dam.
Usually, the peroxide remains on your teeth for several 15 to 20 minute intervals, which add up to a maximum of one hour.
Dentist take-home kits
Many dentists believe that professionally dispensed take-home whitening kits provide the best long-term results. These kits feature an easy-to-use, lower-concentration peroxide gel, which stays on your teeth for an hour or more (or even overnight). The lower the peroxide concentration, the longer it can safely remain on your teeth.
The gel is gently applied to your teeth with custom-made bleaching trays which look like mouth guards.
Over-the-counter whitening products
Over-the-counter bleaching products are the cheapest and most convenient teeth whitening option. As the name implies, this involves using a store-bought whitening kit, which features a bleaching gel with a lower concentration than that found in professionally distributed take-home whitening kits.
Gel is applied to your teeth using one-size-fits-all strips, trays or paint-on applicators. Unlike custom trays, however, this method only whitens your front teeth, rather than your entire smile.
What is the Zoom! teeth whitening procedure?
The procedure is completed in under an hour. However, we do recommend you have your teeth regularly cleaned before your Zoom! whitening session.
Through years of experience, we’ve perfected this procedure, giving you sparkling white teeth in the safest way possible.
Your gums are gently protected before your dental professional applies our exclusive hydrogen peroxide whitening gel.
Then, your dentist or dental professional applies Zoom! hydrogen peroxide whitening gel. This combines with the Zoom! light to penetrate teeth, gently removing stains and discolouration.
The gel stays in place for 15 minutes, so the light has time to activate. While you’re waiting, you can watch TV, listen to music or simply relax.
The whitening gel is applied for three 15-minute intervals of light activation, with treatment lasting 45 minutes. Once complete, we apply a sensitivity-reducing gel to your teeth, to minimise any pain the whitening gel may cause.
How affordable is teeth whitening?
Depending on your circumstances, there are various options you can pursue to gain a whiter, brighter smile. Each option varies in price, so some may be more affordable than others.
Teeth whitening methods:
- In-office teeth whitening: $650
- Dentist take-home trays: $400
- At-home teeth whitening kits: $100 or less
Are there any risks associated with teeth whitening?
When procedures are followed correctly, teeth whitening treatments are considered safe. Having said that, teeth bleaching does come with certain risks. These include: .
Sensitivity – Teeth whitening can temporarily increase your teeth’s sensitivity to temperature, touch and pressure. This is most common in in-office whitening, as more highly concentrated bleach is used.
Some patients report spontaneous, shooting pain down the middle of their front teeth. People most at risk suffer from recessed gums, significant cracks in their teeth and leaking from faulty restoration work.
Generally, whitening sensitivity lasts for only 24 to 48 hours. However, it can persist for as long as a month. To help overcome teeth sensitivity pain, some dentists recommend using toothpaste containing potassium nitrate.
Gum irritation – Over 50 percent of people who whiten their teeth with peroxide whiteners have report a level of gum irritation. This results from either its bleach content or from direct contact with whitening trays.
Gum irritation can last for a few days, easing after patients have stopped using the bleaching product, or its peroxide content is lessened.
Technicolour teeth – Any restorations, including crowns, veneers or bonding is not affected by whitening techniques. So, these teeth remain their default colour, while surrounding teeth are whitened. This creates what is commonly referred to as “technicolour teeth” .
How long will my teeth stay white?
The results of teeth whitening treatment can last up to three years. However, this time can vary from one patient to another. This length of time is reduced, however, if you smoke, or eat or drink products which can stain your teeth.
When might teeth whitening be ineffective?
Teeth whitening will only brighten your existing tooth colour. Also, the treatment only works on natural teeth. So, it does not work on “false” teeth, such as veneers, crowns or dentures.
Our experienced Box Hill staff can’t wait to give you your whitest, brightest smile. Our caring staff is ready to answer your questions and will help determine the best whitening option to suit your needs and budget.
To book an appointment, simply go online or call us on (03) 8547 9556 today.