Why you should have your teeth whitened professionally
You have decided that your teeth are a bit off colour and you want to do something about it. It could be that your teeth have become stained from smoking or the foods and drinks you consume and you are now looking into teeth whitening treatments. People in Cheltenham have two options when it comes to teeth whitening – to pay more to have it carried out professionally by your dentist or to buy a kit for home usage.
At Oriel Villas Dental we always recommend that teeth whitening is carried out in-clinic and supervised by dental professionals. The reasons for this are:
- Your dentist has access to far more powerful whitening agents
- The whitening agent can damage your skin and other tissue
- A check-up is necessary to make sure you a suitable candidate
Your dentist has access to far more powerful whitening agents
As whitening gels and pastes can damage tissue they come into contact with, their peroxide content is regulated. Within the EU teeth whitening kits which are available to the public cannot contain more than 0.1% peroxide. This is a very low level of concentration compared to kits available to dental professionals which can contain up to 6% peroxide concentration. Whilst over the counter kits may be cheaper, it is worth considering their potential to achieve good results.
Whitening agents can be dangerous
All tooth-bleaching materials are based primarily on hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Whilst a reasonable dose can be safely applied to teeth it is dangerous if it comes into contact with other parts of your body particularly exposed tissue areas like gums, lips, cheeks, throat or oral cavity. There have been nasty cases reported where home whitening kits have burned people’s lips and gums. Also if the whitening agent leaks from the tray it can damage your mucus membranes in your oral cavity and gastric tract.
One of the advantages of having whitening done professionally is that your dentist will take the necessary precautions to make sure the treatment is not detrimental to your oral health. Depending on the type of teeth whitening you choose these precautions can include:
- Custom fitting your tray to make sure it is a good fit and that the whitening agent does not leak
- Covering your gums and using a cheek retractor to make sure that they do not come into contact with the bleaching compound
Tooth Whitening is not suitable for all patients and may have an adverse effect on your condition if you suffer from gum disease or other dental health problems. It is therefore advisable to come for a checkup before embarking on any teeth whitening procedure. This checkup comes as standard with our professional tooth whitening package.
Professional Teeth Whitening in Cheltenham
If you opt for professional teeth whitening, you have two options both of which are available at Oriel Villas Dental. The first is known as home supervised whitening. As part of this process you will come in for a check-up. Your dentist will discuss the results you expect to achieve and then prescribe a whitening agent with the peroxide concentration necessary to achieve the required result. You will be fitted with an application tray and we will demonstrate how to use them properly as you undergo your first round of treatment under our supervision in the clinic. After this you will continue with the treatment for between 2 – 4 weeks at home with application periods typically lasting from 30 minutes to an hour.
A more powerful option available at our Cheltenham based clinic is laser teeth whitening. This has the potential to achieve the greatest results and can whiten your teeth by up to 8 shades in one hour. After the necessary safety precautions, the bleaching agent is applied to your teeth which are then exposed to a specialised light to activate the peroxide compound. The procedure is repeated three times and lasts for about fifteen minutes each time.
If you are considering any sort of tooth whitening procedure then please get in touch. Our friendly team of dental professionals are always more than happy to have a chat and discuss the options open to you.