Teeth Whitening

Tooth whitening is a safe, effective way to brighten the colour of your natural teeth.

Whitening should only be undertaken by GDC-registered dental professionals. We have two whitening options available at Plumfield Dental Practice:

Custom-Made Home Whitening Kit:

In the comfort of your own home, achieve a whiter smile with custom made trays. Your trays can be re-used in the future to maintain long-lasting results.

Combination Whitening:

Due to the sealed customised trays and the combination of home and in-surgery treatment, results are more rapidly achieved and are of the whitest natural shade.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What happens if the teeth do not whiten evenly?

If the teeth have white spots on them before bleaching, these spots will appear whiter during the first few days. However, the contrast between the spots and the rest of the teeth will reduce. Eventually, this will not be noticeable.

Sometimes, other procedures, such as Microbrasion or Resin Infiltration can be used to more permanently reduce or remove the white spots. Ask your dentist if you have any concerns about this.

You may also notice new white spots appearing on the teeth while you are undertaking the whitening treatment. These white spots were already present on the teeth before whitening. As the teeth become lighter, they become more visible. As the whole tooth becomes lighter, these will become less noticeable. You may notice these spots more after a whitening session if you have been wearing the trays all night.

Some teeth may appear banded with lighter/whiter areas. Again, these are originally present in natural teeth. In darker teeth, these bands may not be obvious. As the tooth becomes lighter, the lighter parts of the tooth  will lighten first, followed by the darker areas. After a few weeks, these will not be noticeable any more.

How will my teeth feel?

Normally, the teeth feel very clean after whitening. The whitening gel also has an indirect effect on gums by aiding healing and health of gums, together with good hygiene.

How long does whitening last?

Normally, the new colour of your teeth keeps quite well, but the effect is dependent on what caused the teeth to darken in the first instance. If you drink lots of coffee, tea or cola drinks the whitening may be slightly less effective.¬† Some patients do a ‘top-up’ treatment after 1-4 years. Some patients do not need to. After initial home whitening, it is advisable to keep your whitening trays safe, so you can top up if you wish.

It is also best to stop smoking for at least 3 weeks before commencing whitening, as smoking will also darken teeth.

Does whitening harm the teeth or gums?

Dentist-prescribed whitening is very safe on gums, cheeks, lips and teeth, as the gels used are of a neutral pH and the concentration is controlled. Over-the-counter or online whitening kits, though inexpensive, can be highly acidic, which can be harmful to teeth, gums and lips.

Remember:

  • Whitening helps to make your smile brighter. Very rarely, in some patients, the teeth do not whiten at all. Some patients may require other forms of treatment, or a different concentration of the gel, used while you relax in the dental chair. You may wish to discuss this with your dentist.
  • If a tooth is dark due to having had a root canal treatment, you may require further whitening inside your tooth, which is undertaken by your dentist.
  • If you have white fillings, crowns, veneers or dentures that match the shade of existing natural teeth before you start whitening, they may no longer match. Fillings, crowns, veneers and dentures do not change colour with tooth whitening.
  • When the desired colour has been achieved, you may wish to have white fillings replaced in a lighter shade. Your dentist may advise you to wait up to 4 weeks after completing whitening to change the fillings.
  • Whitening is not for everyone. In some situations, such as teeth where there has been excessive wear or very large fillings on front teeth, whitening is not an effective form of treatment. Whitening should not be undertaken if you are pregnant, or think you might be pregnant.

If you have any other questions about whitening, please do not hesitate to ask your dentist.