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Cosmetic Teeth Whitening

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How does Cosmetic Teeth Whitening work?

Teeth come in many natural colours; for example, people of African ancestry typically have whiter Dentin than people of European descent.

Tooth colour is also influenced by a combination of organic and inorganic stains found on the surface and inside the teeth (intrinsic and extrinsic stains).  These discolourations can be the result of several factors, including diet (drinking coffee, tea, or red wine), lifestyle choices (smoking), age, or exposure to certain medications (such as tetracycline or fluoride).

 

The enamel of your teeth contains millions of microscopic pores. Over the years, unprocessed compounds from food, drink and tobacco go into these pores causing discolouration and staining.  Teeth Whitening happens when the hydrogen peroxide breaks down into oxygen molecules, which enter through the porous enamel to the Dentin.  These oxidising molecules enter the minuscule pores of the enamel and bleach the coloured substances so that the natural white-ivory colour of the Dentin can be seen clearly.

 

The enamel pores usually remain open for up to 24 hours after treatment. It is therefore recommended that only white food and drink are consumed over this post-whitening period to avoid re-staining

 

Generally, either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide can be used.  Because carbamide peroxide requires an extra step to break down into the more reactive hydrogen peroxide, hydrogen peroxide products are typically used for short daytime use and carbamide peroxide is used for longer overnight periods.

 

To provide the most rapid and effective whitening treatment, in-chair whitening gels contain hydrogen peroxide as the active ingredient.

We can safely whiten your teeth up to several shades. With approved methods, it’s quick, convenient, and won’t damage your teeth or gums.

Initial session

$350 (2x30min gel applications)

Maintenance or top-up

$200 (1x30min gel application)

What is the procedure like?

In-salon teeth whitening can brighten your smile up to several shades in one visit.

  • We’ll check your teeth and gums to make sure they’re healthy before beginning treatment. Then, together we’ll look at your current tooth colour with our professional shade guide and take photos for comparison before and after.

  • The teeth are dried, and a retractor is used to keep your lips and tongue from interfering with the whitening gel. Blue gum barrier gel is used to protect your gumline from hydrogen peroxide.

  • The hydrogen peroxide gel is applied to the teeth and a special LED light activates the gel. We closely monitor treatment progress and after 30 mins apply the second lot of hydrogen peroxide gel. 

  • After 2 x 30 min gel sessions, we rinse the mouth out with tepid water, remove the gum barrier shield, rinse again and use the shade guide to match the new colour.  After photos will be taken for comparison.  

  • We will discuss results, decide if you need more 30-minute sessions, and discuss when this can happen (within a fortnight is ideal)   You will be provided with an aftercare sheet with a safe food and drink list and some dos and dont's to maximise your results.

Frequently asked questions 

Should I get a dental cleaning before or after teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening works best on teeth free of plaque and tartar.  This will ensure the best possible results for whitening. The cleaning should be completed 2 weeks before a teeth whitening appointment.

Will teeth whitening work for me?

Results from whitening vary from person to person and on the type of stains.  Teeth whitening generally works best on yellowish-brown stains compared to grey stains.  Exposure to certain medications such as tetracycline can make teeth whitening more challenging.

How does tetracycline affect the teeth?

Even though the antibiotic affects teeth below the gum line, what exactly causes the discolouration?

To put it plainly, tooth discolouration occurs when tetracycline binds with the calcium needed for tooth development. This occurs during the mineralizing and calcifying process, resulting in intrinsic tooth stains — meaning the stains develop below the surface of the tooth.  This is unlike tooth stains from food or drinks, which form on the tooth surface.

Does teeth whitening hurt?

Most patients experience little to no sensitivity, while other patients can have sensitivity.  Sparklewhite hydrogen peroxide gels come in 2 formulations, One of these is specifically for sensitive teeth.  There are other precautions you can take as well like using Sensodyne toothpaste or a similar brand and/or breaking whitening sessions up.  Tooth sensitivity usually disappears within 24 hours of service.

Will whitening my teeth damage my enamel?

A major benefit of whitening your teeth with a trained professional is that the risk significantly reduces damage to tooth enamel and gums.  Obtaining teeth whitening from a professional ensures you are getting legitimate whitening products from reputable vendors applied by professionally trained staff.  This also reduces your chances of tooth sensitivity or root damage.

Do I have to do anything special after teeth whitening?

To ensure you get the best results, you will want to avoid eating any foods or drinks that can stain teeth for at least 24 hours.  This includes coffee, tea, red wine, juices, berries, foods with artificial colours, etc.  If it could stain a white tee shirt it will probably stain your teeth.  You should also refrain from smoking.  

Can I have my veneers, crowns, bridges or non-natural teeth whitened? 

Hydrogen peroxide whitening gel will not change the colour or shade of any dental veneers, crowns bridges or non-natural teeth restorations, however, it can rejuvenate them. 

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