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Are all teeth suitable for whitening?
Tooth whitening may be done on live teeth and teeth that have had root canal treatment. Before having your teeth whitened, the Hamilton dentist will check to make sure your teeth are suitable to be treated. Tooth whitening may make your old fillings or crowns look darker after treatment, so it is very important to be checked and advised of this before you proceed.
How do we whiten your teeth?
Tooth whitening can be done at home (using a customised tray system designed by your dentist), or in the dental office. We can provide a more effective tooth whitening system for use at home than the ‘do-it-yourself’ kits available at pharmacies. The dentist makes an impression for a model of your teeth. A thin, custom fitted, clear plastic tray that fits over your teeth is made. At home you place a whitening gel into the tray, and place the tray over your teeth. This is worn for up to two hours daily or at night. Results are usually seen after the first day, but maximum whitening may take 10-14 days. We will monitor your progress to ensure the best possible results.
For a more immediate, brighter and longer lasting effect, your dentist can also whiten your teeth at the dental office. While in the dental chair the whitening gel is applied to the tooth and may be activated with a special light for up to 15 minutes. Several repeat processes may be necessary.
Are there side effects of home or dental office treatment?
Sometimes people will experience increased tooth and gum sensitivity during treatment, which goes away shortly after stopping the treatment. We recommend starting fluoride gel treatment 2 weeks before (available in clinic) and taking a panadol 1 hour before to decrease sensitivity.
Can teeth with root fillings be whitened?
Yes. Root filled teeth are treated by placing bleach inside the tooth. A protective rubber shield is placed over the tooth, and the tooth is partly opened into where the root filling has been placed. The inside is cleaned and a bleaching material is placed inside. The tooth is temporarily resealed and left 7 – 10 days. Sometimes two or three applications may be necessary.
How long does tooth whitening last?
Over time your teeth can lose some of their whiteness. Foods with strong coloring’s and and coffee and red wine will stain the teeth faster. You may need to repeat the process occasionally. After a professional in chair whitening a take home top up kit is usually fine to maintain that bright smile.