If you’re unhappy with the colour of your teeth, tooth whitening can give you a much brighter, whiter smile in a very short space of time. Tooth whitening is highly effective at lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface, and can eliminate surface or internal stains caused by:
- Tobacco, strong tea, coffee, red wine and other heavily coloured foodstuffs
- Meladoidine (caused by cooked vegetable oils)
- Medicines containing iron
- Normal age-related darkening
- Darker permanent teeth that follow on from their milk teeth counterparts
- Discolouration while they are forming in childhood because of an illness
- Tetracycline antibiotics.
- Damage or death of nerve and blood vessels inside the root canal through tooth decay or trauma
There are various options for whitening teeth both at home and in the dental surgery. Reasonable results can be obtained from whitening toothpastes, which contain ingredients and mild abrasives that can be effective if used regularly to prevent stains gaining a foothold. However, they are unable to alter the intrinsic colour of teeth and can take weeks or months to whiten your teeth just a few shades
If the stains prove stubborn or are caused by intrinsic factors then a professional whitening procedure applied at the dental surgery would be a better option. Professional whitening uses chemical agents, usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, to remove discolouration and the most effective systems are only available from a dentist.
Even if your staining is caused by the death of a tooth’s nerve and blood vessels, the dentist can follow root canal treatment with internal tooth whitening. The bleaching agent is sealed inside the tooth for about a week and is cleaned out when the degree of lightening is achieved. A tooth-coloured filling is then placed inside the tooth cavity.
However, it’s important to make sure your teeth and gums are in the optimum condition before whitening as the chemicals involved can aggravate existing conditions. Come and talk to us and we’ll assess whether professional whitening is suitable for you and discuss options for improving the appearance of your teeth.