Teeth whitening in the surgery vs at home
Whitening is sometimes seen as the flat, pure white Hollywood smile, but in reality, most patients seeking teeth whitening in Burnham are looking to restore their teeth back to a natural shade, not a phosphorescent glow. Their interest in whitening is due to tooth staining, which although exacerbated by some lifestyle choices, is common in middle age from daily wear and tear.
If you are curious about tooth whitening, we consider teeth whitening in Burnham an aspect of restorative dentistry in giving you the option to restore your natural tooth shade. But there are at-home whitening options too, so let's see how they compere.
Home whitening kits will include a set of whitening trays usually in small, medium and large and a whitening gel which is a preparation of hydrogen peroxide in suspension. Most kits are for overnight use, filling the best fitting tray and placing it over your teeth then wearing them until morning. The concentration of the whitening gel is less than 1% hydrogen peroxide making it safe for home use. This extends the time the treatment can take, but not the overall final shade. It is possible to achieve the same level of lightening with home kits but it would take months to achieve the same results of one session in the clinic. For some patients, this is an advantage as they would prefer a more gradual and subtle change.
Whitening in our clinic
During clinical treatment, the lightening gel is nearly 30% hydrogen peroxide and this has some hazards that we can mitigate. Treatment starts by fitting a rubber dam which is used to protect the gum from being exposed to the gel and stop you from swallowing any of it! The trays used in the clinic are made to measure for each patient and therefore, they fit better allowing us to use the gel more effectively and evenly.
Abrasion in the clinic
Teeth whitening in Burnham doesn't have to be done using bleaching agents. Abrasion techniques involve removing about 1000'th of a mm of the enamel, leaving your teeth noticeably lighter and stain free. This is only effective on environmental staining and not on teeth darkening due to genetic conditions.
What is the best option?
It depends on your goals, the type of staining you have and any underlying health complications. If you have cavities, tooth pain or regular sensitivity, it is important to treat those underlining conditions before pursuing teeth whitening.
Talking through your options with our dentist is the best way to find out what treatments are best suited to your circumstances and goals. For instance, if you are looking for home whitening, personalised trays can be made for you to use at home or if you often suffer from mouth ulcers, abrasion may be a better option than bleaching.
All dental treatments, cosmetic or not, have risks and these risks are often glossed over with less reputable tooth whitening kits which can be purchased online. Always be cautious when buying medical equipment online and if you have any suspicion of them being counterfeit, don't use them!