Tooth Lightening

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Most of us have some vices, which, while not damaging the teeth, might discolour them. Innocent past-times such as tea, coffee, red wine, cigarettes, and curries,can all cause teeth to become slightly more yellow. It might also be, that due to the natural make-up of your teeth they are darker than you would like.

Does it really work?

Many people have tried the over the counter products, which promise much, and yet deliver very little. This is why we recommend professional lightening, especially with a dentist who has an aesthetic background.

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This young lady had discolouration to her teeth. She had been booked in for veneers with a dentist, who was, perhaps, less familiar with all the aesthetic options available. We decided to try lightening.

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One step we always take is to use a ‘shade tab’ which we also show to you. This allows us to monitor the changes to the colour of the teeth.  In this case the ‘A2’ tab is a good match

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Four weeks later, with the same ‘A2’ tab we can see the results. The teeth are now much lighter than the tab.

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Most importantly, we have a young lady who is no longer shy, and has re-gained self confidence. She also has perfectly intact teeth, all for the cost of about one third of one veneer!

Tooth lightening, tooth whitening, or dental bleaching, is one of the most popular cosmetic or aesthetic dental procedures, because it is so simple, cost effective, and involves no drilling or altering the teeth at all. This makes it an ideal cosmetic dental treatment.

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There are two methods of tooth lightening, in surgery or at home
Our preferences is very much for the at home service, as it tends to be more comfortable, give more stable long term results, and be much more cost effective

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At Home Tooth Lightening

The most popular is to have very delicate trays made which fit over the teeth. Gel is placed inside these trays, which are then worn for either for and hour or over-night depending on the gel we have selected for you

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While everyone’s teeth are different, typically it will take 10-12 applications to reach the desired colour
When the tooth whitening is completed, the trays and the remaining gel can be kept, and the lightening can be topped up later if it needs to be.

Is it uncomfortable?

About the only usual side affect is an occasional increased awareness of temperature, but if you pause the treatment for a day or two this will settle, and following treatment your teeth should return to normal.

Can I do it if my teeth are already sensitive?

We often use exactly the same trays to hold de-sensitising gels when we have patients with very stubborn sensitivity teeth, and so once we control the sensitivity you can progress to lightening.

How long does it last?

Once your teeth are lightened, they will darken slightly, especially with tea, coffee, red wine and the vices. Typically every 4-6 months you might need to ‘top-up’ the lightening. This will typically take only 2 or three applications

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