Tooth whitening


If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and wished your teeth were whiter and brighter, teeth whitening could be for you.

Professional tooth whitening is one of the most effective ways to improve your smile and has the advantage of being simple, safe, predictable and cost effective.  It is important to start with the small print –tooth-whitening is legal and safe when carried out by a dentist or under direct supervision of a dentist – it is illegal and ungoverned when carried out by a beautician, at a shopping centre or a wedding fair, so beware. Using the wrong product can cause irreversible harm to your teeth including discolouration and erosion so always consult a dentist if you are considering tooth whitening.

Although teeth seem solid, they are, in fact, permeable. This means that colours from food, drink and medicines can actually penetrate enamel and remain there long after that cup of tea or glass of wine is gone.  Fortunately, dental whitening gels can penetrate teeth and virtually bleach out these stains.  Porcelain restorations e.g. crowns, bridges and veneers are not permeable so don’t discolour and stain in the same way that teeth do. If you have these restorations it’s important to discuss tooth whitening with your dentist prior to proceeding with any treatment.

Teeth are whitened by being covered in whitening gel for a period of hours – most commonly with a custom made whitening tray worn for a couple of hours a day.  The number of days required depends on the result you are trying to achieve. At New Town Dental Care your trays are constructed out of the best tray materials using mould of your teeth ensuring a well fitting tray.  An alternative to the trays is to place the gel directly on to the teeth while in the dental chair over multiple visits.

Tooth whitening will change the colour of your teeth however if your diet contains food or drink that stain your teeth they may darken over time again. To combat this you might feel that you want to give your teeth a whitening boost from time to time.

If you are considering tooth-whitening New Town Dental Care can offer you:

  • Professionally made whitening trays
  • The best whitening products available
  • Detailed instruction and demonstration on using your whitening system
  • Advice on caring for your whitening trays
  • Discuss any future needs you may have for top-up whitening
  • Advise you on an integrated treatment plan if you already have fixed porcelain restorations on any of your teeth or if you are planning such restorations.
  • Help you manage sensitivity if it occur.

Are there any side effects in professional tooth whitening?

The only side-effect some patients report is a temporary sensitivity. Whitening gel manufacturers are constantly trying to improve their products by adding desensitisers. If you do suffer from or develop sensitivity we can advise you on the best way to manage it using the very effective desensitisers now available. It’s important to understand that this sensitivity is temporary.

Cosmetic Dentist Edinburgh
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