Tooth Whitening

Tooth Whitening is a common treatment used to refresh your smile by restoring the brightness to your teeth.

Over time, teeth darken. This is a natural process which takes place slowly. Certain foods and drinks, such as curry, tea, coffee and red wine will also stain teeth. Tartar deposits will give an unsightly appearance to the teeth as will fracture lines and cracks. Smoking will also discolour and stain tooth tissue.

Before your teeth are whitened, we will ensure that all the tartar deposits and staining are removed from the outer surface of your teeth. This will be done either by your dentist or by one of our practice hygienists.

At Ian Robertson Dental Care we use a simple tray system to gradually lighten teeth over a short period. The system that we use involves wearing custom-made trays that fit precisely over your teeth. Into this tray is placed a whitening gel that contacts against the teeth surfaces. The trays are worn for a short period, usually a maximum of 3 hours every day. The gel that we use is called Carbamide Peroxide. This is activated in the mouth and converts to Hydrogen Peroxide at a 5% concentration. The other by-product of this reaction is water.

The whitening process takes place gradually and usually reaches the desired shade within 14 days. As the whitening process is completed at home, the level of whitening is controlled by the individual. If you want your teeth lighter and whiter, wear the trays for a few extra days.

As with any treatment, there will be variations between individuals. Some teeth are more susceptible to whitening than others and results will vary. Some people can also suffer with sensitivity whilst whitening their teeth however the material that we use is carefully formulated to reduce the chances of sensitivity to a minimum.

As a word of caution, over-the-counter whitening kits available from supermarkets and chemists are not to be recommended. The legal limit for the active ingredient in such kits is 0.1% Hydrogen Peroxide. For those prescribed by a Dental Practitioner, the active ingredient is much more concentrated at about 5%. Also, some over-the-counter kits contain mild acids and abrasives that can cause ulcers to the gums and will damage the enamel surface of the teeth.

Your dentist will be able to advise on the best course of treatment and on the costs involved.