How can you brighten your smile?
Whatever the reason, tooth bleaching isn’t just for the movie stars, and it isn’t just for one day. Thousands of people have had their teeth bleached, and probably thousands more are thinking about it.
The desire for whiter teeth is very strong, and tooth bleaching safely lightens the colour of the teeth for up to three years. The safest and most effective method of tooth bleaching is dentist-supervised.
Is bleaching for you?
Bleaching is successful in at least ninety percent of patients. Consider tooth bleaching if your teeth are darkened from age, coffee, tea, or smoking.
Teeth darkened with the colour of yellow, brown or orange respond better to lightening. Other types of grey stains caused by fluorosis, smoking, or tetracyline are lightened, but the results are less dramatic.
If you have very sensitive teeth, periodontal disease, or teeth with worn enamel, your dentist may discourage bleaching.
A dentist or hygienist takes impressions of your teeth from which to make a mouthguard appliance.
The mouthguard is custom made for your mouth only. It’s very lightweight, comfortable to wear whether awake or asleep.
Along with the mouthguard you’ll receive the bleaching materials. In most cases we’ll ask you to wear the mouthguard for four hours a day (or overnight) for seven nights over a two or three week period.
How long does it last?
Lightness should last for between one to five years, depending your personal habits such as smoking or drinking coffee and tea. You can then get a touch up.
The procedure will not be as costly the next time because you’ll probably still be able to use the same mouthguard. Retreatment time also is much shorter.
Is it safe? Any side effects?
Several studies have proven its safety during the past five years. Some patients may experience slight gum irritation or tooth sensitivity, but because we use a very weak bleaching solution, any sensitivity will resolve when the treatment ends.
What are realistic expectations?
No one can predict how much lighter your teeth will become. Every case is different. However, typically there is a two-shade improvement on a dentist’s shade guide. Success depends upon the type of stain and your compliance. Bleaching can only provide a shift in colour — from grey to a lighter shade of grey, for example. Bleaching does not lighten your crowns or restorations.