Teeth whitening is the process of using materials to make teeth look whiter. The materials remove stains or other discoloration from the toothsurface.
The science behind teeth whitening
Different parts of your teeth look different. Most importantly there is the transparent, white looking Enamel and the yellow Dentine underneath.
The colour of your natural teeth is determined by:
- the reflection and scattering of light off enamel
- Your genes which affect the thickness & smoothness of enamel.
- The colour of the dentin
- Intrinsic stains which the dentine, such as that caused by fluoride
- Thinner enamel allows more of the colour of the dentin to show through
- Age - the teeth become less bright as the enamel gets thinner and the dentin becomes darker.
- Having rougher enamel also affects the reflection of light and therefore the colour
- The pellice (a thin coating on the enamel) which picks up stains.
- Pores in the enamel which picks up stains.
- Acidic diet or reflux, causing the enamel to get thinner
- A traumatised, decayed or root filled tooth often becomes darker due to, for example bilirubin or sealant.
External factors which cause yellowness or staining are:
- Drinking darker coloured things such as coffee, tea and red wine
- Not taking good care of your teeth such as brushing twice a day.
Teeth whitening causes a chemical reaction within the enamel to make it appear whiter and mask any yellow dentine underneath it.
Before you whiten your teeth
Before whitening your teeth have a full dental check up. We advise to have a scrape and polish before any treatment as this will remove any superficial tooth staining. The dentist will look for any signs of tooth decay, which will need to be treated before any whitening gels are applied to the teeth. Gum disease will be assessed and treated if need be before teeth whitening begins. Any existing fillings and/or crowns need to be assessed as they will not get whiter using the whitening gels.
The dentist will ask for your permission to take photos of your teeth before whitening and will discuss expectations of how many shades lighter your teeth will become.
Techniques - how to whiten your teeth
We offer teeth whitening in surgery or at home.
In surgery whitening will take roughly 90 minutes to complete. The dentist will apply the gels onto your teeth and then a blue light will be applied to activate the gels. The results are very good but teeth can become sensitive, less long term effect, its more time consuming and more expensive.
At home whitening, you will have impressions taken for tailor made whitening trays. You will apply the gels into the trays an wear them for an hour every night for 2 weeks. The results are really good as its a gradual whitening process there is more control over how many shades lighter your teeth become, you can wear the trays in the comfort of your own home.
How It's Done
There are two types of tooth whitening. Vital whitening which is carried out on teeth with live nerves. Non vital whitening which is carried out on teeth that has had a Root Canal Treatment or has no live nerve.
This is the most common tooth whitening uses a gel that is applied directly onto the teeth which contains hydrogen peroxide.
Tooth whitening can be carried out in surgery or at home. If you decide to have in surgery whitening the dentist can use a more powerful whitening gel which when activated allows the bleaching to happen faster. For at home whitening you will have a custom made set of trays to hold the whitening gel in place. The trays are tailor made as they need to fit well.
Certain toothpastes which you can buy contain abrasives that remove stains on the enamel.
Over the counter teeth whitening gels are not advisable, even though they contain a weaker form of whitening chemicals. Only dentists and dental professionals are able to carry out teeth whitening.
Non vital whitening works well on teeth that have had Root Canal Treatment or if the tooth has no live nerve because the stain is coming from the inside of the tooth. A special whitening gel will be placed inside the tooth and a temporary filling will be placed over it for a few days. This procedure may take a few appointments to lighten the tooth. Come along for a FREE CONSULTATION.
If you have any issues please don't hesitate to see your dentist. If you find your teeth are sensitive or your gums are sore and/or white book an appointment.
Whitening is not a permanent solution as stains will come back. Smoking or consuming a lot of foods or drink that stain may see the results fade quickly. If possible avoid the foods or drinks that will cause staining and you may not need another treatment for 6 - 12 months.
Re-whitening in surgery can be done in surgery or at home. If you have opted for at home whitening you will have your custom made trays and you will be able to whiten as an when wanted. You can purse the gels for half the price, if you have your trays from us.
Whitening is unlikely to cause serious side effects, some sensitivity may occur, may experience mild gum irritation as well. Women should NOT have their teeth whitened while pregnant. The effect that this on the unborn child is unknown, this is a cosmetic procedure and should wait until the child is born.
Teeth whitening Birmingham and Walsall
We offer teeth whitening to all who access our services. This includes the following areas:
- Great Barr
- West Bromwich
- Sutton Coldfield
- the rest of the West midlands
How to get late appointments with your dentist
We offer late appointments till 8 pm every weekday at no extra cost. Simply call us to arrange a convenient time.
Please use the postcode WS5 3EY in your sat nav.
By car: The closest motorway Junction is Junction 7 off the M6. Follow signs to Walsall. Where you see The Bell Inn pub, take a right onto Bell Road, and an immediate right onto Park Road. Take the first left onto Lodge Road, right at the T-junction onto Park Hall Road and first left onto Launceston Road. Take a left onto Falmouth Road and follow the road around to the right. You will see The Dentist on the left with ample free car parking.