BRING BACK THOSE PEARLY WHITES WITH TEETH WHITENING
Teeth whitening is a simple process of lightening the colour of teeth by using a special bleaching agent.
Tooth discolouration is very common and can occur for a wide range of reasons including:
- Lifestyle such as drinking and smoking causing surface stains
- Failing to brush and floss frequently
- Poor oral condition such as decay and gum disease
Discolouration caused by surface stains and age typically respond well to whitening due to the source of the discolouration being in close proximity to the bleach.
In general, over 70% of people experience a noticeable and significant colour change, about 20% experience only minor change and 10% experience almost no change. The determining factor is not the bleach concentration but the “bleachability” of each person, which is determined by individual variations in tooth mineral content. We generally find yellow pigmented teeth bleach better than white, brown or grey teeth.
All bleaching processes will involve a re-bound process whereby final tooth colour stabilises 2-3 days after the last bleach application, but we take steps to ensure that this rebound effect is minimised. All methods of bleaching will involve some tooth sensitivity and gum irritation however there is no permanent damage to the teeth or gums. Unfortunately, fillings, crowns and dentures will not bleach and may need to be replaced at the conclusion of the bleaching process.
Results from professional whitening treatments last between one to three years and most treatments can be reapplied, although most people only undergo one course of whitening treatment. Depending on a person’s smoking, drinking and oral hygiene habits, the results may last for only a few months. Good oral hygiene, regular professional cleaning and occasional bleaching will keep you teeth whiter for longer. Your smile may benefit from other restoration treatments such as veneers, replacement crowns or fillings.
The available treatments are outlined below. To book an appointment with us to work out the best teeth whitening treatment to suit you, either contact us on 07 5579 9333 or fill out the contact form to the right.
ZOOM!TM (IN-OFFICE BLEACHING)
Our practice uses the Zoom!TM method of in-office tooth whitening. Zoom! TM involves painting high concentrate bleach on the teeth then heating the bleach with a blue UV light, which is often referred to as laser whitening. The advantage of the light is that it quickly heats the bleach to a high temperature, allowing it to penetrate deeper into the teeth. The bleaching process occurs through the release of oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide to bleach the discoloured or stained surfaces. Your gums, lips, cheeks and tongue are protected with specialized rubber and gauze seals to prevent burning. This type of bleaching takes about 1.5 hours to complete.
BLEACHING TRAYS (AT-HOME BLEACHING)
This method of bleaching involves the use of medium concentrate hydrogen peroxide placed on the teeth with custom made trays. The trays are worn for anywhere from an hour to overnight for 3 weeks (this process is also known as take-home whitening). Due to the lower concentration of the bleach and lack of heat lamp, the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide is unable to penetrate as far into the teeth and as a result the bleach needs to be on the teeth for longer than Zoom!TM to maximize the penetration of the bleach into the teeth.
INTERNAL BLEACHING OF A ROOT-FILLED TOOTH
After a tooth undergoes a root canal it is prone to severe discolouration as a result of the materials used in the root canal treatment. If this discolouration is visible then you may need to internally bleach the tooth. This involves drilling a small hole into the back of the tooth, removing some of the filling from the tooth’s root canal, and insert the bleaching product. The hole is closed with a temporary filling. You will need to return to your dentist in about a week to have the bleaching product and temporary filling removed. To achieve a whiter tooth, the procedure may have to be done again. When treatment is complete, the bleaching product is removed and the hole is sealed with a permanent filling.
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Why does tooth discolouration occur?
Tooth discolouration is a very common concern and can occur for a number of reasons. Some of these factors include lifestyle habits such as drinking and smoking, which can cause surface stains. Poor dental habits, like failure to brush and floss frequently, can also cause discolouration, as can oral conditions like decay and gum disease. Certain medications may also lead to discolouration. Discolouration caused by surface stains and ageing generally respond well to whitening treatments.
What is Zoom?
Zoom is an in-office tooth whitening method, which involves painting high concentrate hydrogen peroxide bleach on the teeth. The bleach is then heated with a blue UV light, a process that is often referred to as laser whitening. The light quickly heats the bleach to a high temperature, allowing it to penetrate deep into the teeth. Oxygen is released from the hydrogen peroxide, bleaching the stained surfaces of the teeth.
How long do whitening results last?
Generally, results from professional whitening treatments last between one and three years. Most treatments can be reapplied if necessary, although in most cases, one whitening treatment is sufficient. Good oral hygiene, as well as regular professional cleaning and occasional bleaching will keep your teeth whiter for longer.