Teeth come in a variety of shades ranging from off-white to shades of brown or yellow. Your pearly whites don’t remain pristine for life though. A combination of lifestyle and eating habits contribute towards your teeth gradually getting more stained as time goes on. Heavy coffee, red wine and tea drinkers as well as prolific smokers exhibit more pronounced staining of their teeth over time. Sometimes, these stains can end up looking rather unsightly. Fortunately, there is a solution – teeth whitening treatments. Not all issues related to teeth are about cosmetic issues. In fact, some people require the assistance of a periodontics specialist.
A host of different teeth whitening treatments are available, some of them purchased over the counter while others such as veneers need a professional dentist to administer with these various treatments offering different levels of effectiveness. There are also as many urban legends about teeth whitening treatments that also have varying levels of truth about them. There’s no better way to find the answers by getting them straight from the source. We spoke to the fine team of dentists at We Smile Dental KL to get the lowdown on teeth whitening treatments. Here’s what you need to know.
How does teeth whitening work?
Teeth whitening is an aesthetic dental procedure, usually done by a cosmetic dentist, that uses a strong bleaching chemical, typically hydrogen peroxide, to bleach your teeth to a lighter shade than what is present on your existing teeth. The bleaching agent is carefully applied to your teeth, usually as a liquid compound. It seeps into the inner structure of your teeth and breaks down the molecules that stain it to whiten it as much as possible.
The speed and efficacy of the results depend on how strong the whitening chemical is, the original colour of your teeth and where the treatment is conducted. A teeth whitening session conducted by a dentist at their practice takes about 30-45 minutes and will have immediate results with improvements of about 8 shades from your original teeth colour. Treatments obtained over the counter will often take longer, need multiple sessions and won’t generate the same results.
This is because the chemicals used at a dentist’s practice are a lot stronger (about 35% strength hydrogen peroxide) and thus require a trained medical professional to administer to avoid injury or damage to the gums and teeth. By law, over the counter teeth whitening treatments have a much weaker formulation (typically less than 6% strength hydrogen peroxide) and will take longer to obtain results over multiple treatments.
What results can I expect from teeth whitening?
Realistically speaking, you can expect to get your teeth whitened by about eight shades from their original colour when undertaking a teeth whitening procedure at a dentist’s practice. Unfortunately, you cannot realistically get porcelain white teeth like that seen on magazines or on many celebrities. The almost flawless white teeth you see is usually the result of Photoshop work or more aggressive alternative dental options like veneers.
If the teeth whitening procedure is done at a dentist’s office, you can expect immediate results over the course of an hour and usually require only one treatment. If you opt for over the counter teeth whitening treatments like that sold in pharmacies, you may notice a minor improvement over time and need multiple treatments. There is also a middle ground of slightly stronger home teeth whitening kits dispensed by dentists that have a stronger formulation that are typically used several months after a teeth whitening session to maintain results.
How long does teeth whitening last?
Depending on your diet and lifestyle, the results from a professional teeth whitening treatment conducted by a dentist can last anywhere from six months to a year before you require a top-up teeth whitening treatment to maintain the colour of your teeth.
If you are a heavy coffee drinker, drink a lot of red wine or smoke a lot, the time period before you need another whitening treatment is shortened before you need additional whitening treatments.
Are there any risks to teeth whitening treatments?
Urban legends abound of how teeth whitening treatments can wear out or damage the enamel of your teeth but the truth of the matter is that teeth whitening treatments do not damage your teeth.
During the procedure, some patients may encounter more sensitive teeth and gums but the procedure is quite painless and any sensitivity usually fades in a few days. If needed, a dentist can prescribe a desensitisation toothpaste to tide over the heightened sensitivity.
Teeth whitening treatments also do not affect existing tooth fillings, implants or veneers so you will have to get them treated or addressed by your dentist before you undertake teeth whitening.
What else do we need to know about teeth whitening treatments?
When opting for a teeth whitening procedure, it is crucial to understand the potential outcomes of your treatment and to have a friendly and experienced dentist who can address any of your concerns and manage any potential complications afterwards.
We Smile Dental Clinic’s professional panel of dentists are able to help you achieve optimum outcomes for teeth whitening treatments in a safe, fast and effective fashion so that you’re able to obtain excellent results in a short period of time when you need to look your best such as before a wedding or other important social engagement.
We Smile Dental Clinic KL uses, blue light whitening, also dubbed as laser teeth whitening which is one of the most widely accepted forms of teeth whitening treatments worldwide with a proven track record of excellent outcomes, allowing you to remove stains and whiten your teeth in a safe and effective fashion. For more details, book a complimentary consultation at www.facebook.com/wesmiledentalclinickl