Teeth whitening solutions at our Melbourne dental practice
Most people want a whiter, brighter smile. Unfortunately no toothpaste by itself can guarantee a whiter smile as they only remove external stains. That’s why we’re pleased to offer our patients a safe, cost-effective way of getting a whiter, better smile in the shortest possible time, using a technique known as cosmetic teeth whitening.
Enamel stains or discolouration, trauma to baby teeth which has stained permanent teeth, or a general discoloured pattern in teeth can all benefit from whitening. Whitening can also be the next step prior to cosmetic treatment to provide a uniform appearance.
This cosmetic teeth whitening process makes it easy to bleach the teeth. First, you come for an examination to make sure there are no restoration problems and to make sure that whitening is appropriate for you. Then we’ll examine your mouth, and take any necessary x-rays, for safety’s sake.
How is teeth whitening done?
If you are after teeth whitening in Melbourne you will basically find two methods. Both use hydrogen peroxide. A take home whitening kit, which requires multiple applications of a low strength gel, or professional teeth whitening, using a much stronger whitening solution and accelerated by use of light.
At-home teeth whitening
The whitening gel is applied to your teeth by a whitening tray (a thin plastic flexible mouth guard) so only the teeth to be bleached are covered by the gel. We measure your mouth and take an impression of your upper and lower teeth. This impression will be used to make a whitening tray to specially fit your mouth exactly. This usually takes about a week to make.
When the tray is complete, you’ll come back for instructions and supplies. We will show you how to use the gel and to apply it correctly. We usually advise wearing them for period of 1–2 hours at a time, once or twice a day, over a 2-week period. Or there is another type of whitening gel, which you wear overnight for 5 days. You can choose the type of whitening that best suits your lifestyle.
Whitening results usually last a long time, but will gradually fade, therefore we usually recommend a 6 or 12 monthly ‘touch up’ treatment of 1–2 days duration. Your mouth is unlikely to change and so your trays will still fit. Should you run out of whitening gel we can sell you a top up bottle if needed.
In-chair teeth whitening using laser
Some people desire a faster result, in which case you can do an in-chair whitening. It takes about one hour of your time in the dentist’s chair to lighten your teeth one or two shades. For best long-term results we recommend you follow up with an at-home whitening routine.
Are there any side effects caused by teeth whitening?
The whitening gel we use has been proven to be a safe and effective treatment. It does not damage or weaken the enamel of teeth. Some patients may experience a temporary increase in teeth sensitivity, although the gel concentration we use makes this unlikely. Should it occur we suggest stopping the whitening process for 1–2 days to give your teeth a rest, then continue the process.
Gum irritation may also occur, especially if you have gingivitis and bleeding gums to start with. For this reason we recommend a thorough teeth and gum cleaning prior to commencing the whitening process. This also helps to remove any stains from your teeth and thus makes the whitening more effective. Applying too much gel may also cause this.
Does whitening work for all teeth?
Whitening will change the colour of your teeth, but will not change the colour of your fillings. For this reason, after your teeth have been satisfactorily whitened it may be necessary to replace some old fillings to better match the colour of your teeth.
The teeth whitening results for some patients who have taken antibiotic medications that cause staining may not meet expectations, and an alternative treatment procedure such as porcelain veneers may be required.
See examples of whitening in our cosmetic dentistry case studies.