Teeth whitening or bleaching is one of the most common cosmetic dental treatments requested however there are some important factors and steps to consider before you commence.
To understand why your teeth have discoloured and the potential impact of commencing bleaching, your dentist will complete a comprehensive exam of your entire mouth to ensure it is healthy. Your dentist will check for things like enamel thickness, receding gums, existing sensitivity which will be affected by whitening, existing decay and any existing restorations such as crowns or fillings as the colour of these will be unchanged by whitening. After completing this exam, your dentist will recommend the appropriate whitening methods available to you.
There are a number of teeth whitening methods available on the market so we have created a summary and small commentary to help you guide your way.
- Whitening Toothpaste: this is very abrasive and the peroxide (bleach) concentration is too small to actually provide any real change. The abrasive has been known to increase teeth sensitivity.
- Paint On/Whitening Pens and Strips: these are 4.5% peroxide however there isn’t any protection to avoid burns to lips and gums. Two Journalists from news.com.au held their own roadtest of these options and commented “My teeth don’t seem to be any lighter”. They did both experience heightened sensitivity.
- In Chair Whitening: this procedure takes 1 hour in the dental practice. Research shows a 60% relapse after 6 weeks.
- Zoom Whitening – the ‘zoom’ light is an effective marketing tool but doesn’t actually do anything at all other than dehydrate the teeth giving them an appearance of being whiter. The key ingredient to whitening teeth is peroxide and the percentage being administered.
- At Home Whitening Trays : this method has the greatest research for long lasting results as well as giving you the control over future whitening top-ups. At home whitening trays enable you and the dentist to control the peroxide application and monitor the sensitivity you may experience.
We use an Australian made product specifically designed to minimise sensitivity.
- Pola Night is the most gentle. The active ingredient is carbamide peroxide which slowly breaks down to be hydrogen peroxide. It is worn for 1.5 hours or even overnight for 2 weeks.
- Pola Day is hydrogen peroxide and worn for 1hr per day or if chasing a faster result can be 30mins morning and night, for 2 weeks.
Using the trays minimises the exposure of gums to the peroxide solution. The Dentist will give you a demonstration and identify the current colour shade of your teeth to monitor results.
This treatment is $350 less any health fund rebate. The item numbers to check with your health fund are 119,119,926,926 and 927. If you already have trays from previous whitening or orthodontic treatment a full kit is $120 or you can purchase top-up syringes for $60.
Call us today to make an appointment.