Synergy Parkside cosmetic dentist, Dr Alay Zaidi, looks at which of these might work for you
With Spring almost here and hopefully the final lockdown slowly coming to an end, it is fair to say that most of us are looking forward to a less restrictive lifestyle thanks to the successful vaccine rollout. It has been a tough year for many of us and we will want to make the most of our new freedoms, feeling as good about ourselves as we possibly can.
It is usually around this time of the year that we see a rise in interest in teeth whitening treatments at Synergy Parkside dental practice, and we expect this year to be no different. Before we discuss the popular teeth whitening treatments that we offer though, we thought we would take a look at the range of choices available to you.
Home teeth whitening
Because teeth whitening is seen as a non-invasive treatment, some people may look at ways of doing this at home. In general, this is largely unsuccessful and can even result in damage to your teeth.
Perhaps the easiest way of attempting to whiten your teeth at home is to use a toothpaste designed for this purpose. By law, these are only allowed to contain a fraction of the quantity of whitening ingredient, a form of bleach, that a dentist is. Any improvements are likely to be very minor, if at all. Some of these toothpastes also include additional abrasive ingredients designed to remove surface staining. These can also damage the protective enamel of your teeth when used incorrectly.
A word of warning here, please don’t attempt to try any of the DIY teeth whitening methods that you might find on Youtube and the like. These often include highly acidic ingredients such as lemon juice which can be very harmful to your teeth.
Scale and Polish
This is one that we do encourage, not primarily because of any improvements it might make to the whiteness of your teeth, but because it is essential for healthy teeth and gums. The treatment is provided by a dental hygienist and will remove hardened bacteria and minerals (tartar) from the teeth and gum line. These deposits leave a rough surface which can attract not only more bacteria but also staining too. As the tartar is removed through scraping, shattering with an ultrasonic tool and a final high speed brushing, some surface staining of the teeth will be removed and you might notice a moderate improvement in the colour of your teeth.
Teeth whitening procedure
For those looking for a significant improvement in the whiteness of their teeth, this is the most popular treatment that we have at our Woking dental practice. In fact, it is the only way to actually whiten teeth that have become discoloured with age as the inner dentin part of the tooth darkens. The teeth whitening treatment that we offer is both safe and effective. Unlike some home methods that can risk damage, the system we use makes sure that your gums and lips are protected from the bleaching agents that are used to whiten the teeth. This minimises the risk of any burning.
The treatment itself is non-invasive and doesn’t require an anaesthetic. Most patients have no side effects although a small number may find that their teeth are a little more sensitive for a short while. This typically passes very quickly.
The treatment is fast acting and at the end, you should see an improvement in the whiteness of your teeth by up to eight shades.
The final option applies mainly to people whose teeth have become very badly stained, perhaps from years of smoking. It also works well on those whose teeth have become cracked or chipped over the years. To correct teeth that have been affected in either of these ways, porcelain dental veneers can be used. Whilst these don’t change the colour of the natural teeth, they are used as a replacement surface and can be produced in any degree of whiteness that you want. They are also a potential solution for patients suffering from sensitive teeth, providing an artificial protective layer to replace the damaged enamel.
At Synergy Parkside, we recognise that everyone is different and has different requirements. To get the best results, we recommend that you arrange a consultation to see one of our cosmetic dentists so that we can examine your teeth and discuss what results you hope to achieve. This will enable us to put a treatment plan into place that will brighten up your smile for the (hopefully!) warmer months ahead.
To arrange your initial consultation, please call our Woking dental practice on 01483 766355.