Teeth Whitening FAQ
WHAT IS TEETH WHITENING?
Teeth whitening involves the use of an agent to remove superficial stains, deep staining and discoloration on the enamel of the teeth. The gel, combined with a high intensity light, accelerates the whitening reaction. The whitening treatment can achieve 5-14 shades of whitening after only two 20 minute sessions. It is safe and pain-free.
WHAT RESULTS SHOULD I EXPECT?
You can usually achieve results of 5-14 shades lighter on untreated teeth in 1 treatment. Results are subjective and will vary considerably from person to person. Your underlying natural colour and genetics will determine how white your teeth can naturally get. The more stained your teeth, the more dramatic the result will be.
Any previous whitening treatments will reduce the results a person will achieve. This includes whitening strips, whitening toothpaste or any professional in chair whitening treatments in the past 12 months.
*Peroxide products can give a slightly lighter result immediately after whitening, the result may be reduced a shade or two a day after treatment., This is due to tooth dehydration at the time of treatment which will recover within 24 hours.
WHAT IF I HAVE CROWNS OR VENEERS?
Teeth whitening won’t lighten restorations such as bonding, dental crowns or porcelain veneers but they will maintain their default colour while the surrounding teeth are whitened. If the default colour of these restorations is lighter than the natural teeth, the whitening treatment can still be used. We will check the colour of your teeth after the first 20 minute session in these cases, as it may be all that is required to match the restorations.
HOW LONG WILL THE WHITENING LAST?
Teeth whitening isn't permanent. Results will vary from person to person and depends on your diet and lifestyle, but the effects usually last about a year. Touch up treatments are recommended for people who frequently consume coffee or any other staining food or drinks, or for those that use tobacco products.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
Usually one treatment is sufficient, but those with heavy staining may opt for a top up treatment a week later if they didn't get the shade they were after. Maintenance every 12-18 months is recommended to keep your teeth looking white and bright.
HOW OFTEN CAN I HAVE THE TREATMENT DONE?
The ADIA states that having 3 treatments per year is safe, so every 4 months at most.
IS THE TREATMENT SAFE?
We use the highest quality gels on the market approved for use in Australia. We use a no touch procedure which is completely hygienic, safe and gentle, even on sensitive teeth. All the products we use are ACCC compliant and adhere to the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act (Vic)1981 and we are a registered and insured business.
WILL MY TEETH BE SENSITIVE AFTER THE TREATMENT?
The teeth whitening gel is a very gentle, It is recommended that clients avoid consuming extremely hot or cold food or beverages , ice cream or ice for the first 24 hours following the treatment.
ARE YOU A DENTIST?
No, I am not a dentist, however, I have completed all relative training and I perform this treatment as a cosmetic enhancement. There are no formal qualifications in Australia for teeth whitening, even dentists receive vendor training as it is not part of the dental practitioners degree.
HOW IS THE TREATMENT PERFORMED?
3 fresh applications are applied at 20 minute intervals under a LED light. The first 20 minutes are when the pores of the teeth open up, the next 20 minutes the gel penetrates the dentin to start whitening. The last 20 minutes is where thy magic begins and where the whitening occurs.
First is your consultation where you can address any questions and concerns you may have before the treatment starts.
Before photos of your teeth will be taken and the before shade is noted on your records.
A cheek retractor is inserted and gel is applied to each tooth.
Vitamin E is applied to your gums and lips for protection.
We supply protective glasses for your treatment to make sure your eyes stay safe.
The LED light is positioned and now you can relax, read, or even nap during your session.
After each 20 minute session, you are required to remove the mouth retractor and wipe your teeth with a tooth wipe, then reinsert the cheek retractor and reapply the gel.
After the entire treatment is done, wipe and rinse your teeth.
An after photo is taken and your after shade is noted for your records.
Mirror time! It’s time to take a look at your whiter, brighter smile!
HOW LONG DOES THE TREATMENT TAKE?
The treatment itself takes 1 hour under a LED light. Please allow around 90 minutes for the consultation and the gel applications inbetween being under the light.
WHO SHOULDN'T HAVE A TEETH WHITENING TREATMENT?
Pregnant or breastfeeding women. The potential impact of swallowed bleach on the foetus or baby is not yet known.
People under the age of 16
People with overly sensitive teeth
Light sensitive individuals and people on light/photo sensitive medications
People with a known allergy to peroxide and/or aloe vera
Those who are in need of dental work should consult their dentist before having a whitening procedure eg: open cavities, gum disease or exposed nerves. These must be treated before proceeding with the treatment.
People that have had braces removed should wait for cement residue to wear off before getting a teeth whitening treatment
People with melanoma
Please consult with your doctor about the use of an LED accelerator lamp with these medications: Chlorothiazide, Hydrochlorothiazide, Chlorthalidone, Naprosyn, Oxaprozin, Nabumetone, Piroxicam, Doxycycline, Ciprofloxacin, Ofloxacin, Psoralens, Demeclocycline, Norfloxacin, Sparfloxacin, Sulindac, Tetracycline, St. John’s Wart, Isotretinoin, Tretinoin.
TEETH WHITENING RISKS
Teeth whitening treatments are considered to be safe when procedures are followed as directed. However, there are certain risks associated with whitening that you should be aware of:
Although rare with our gentle gel, teeth whitening can cause a temporary increase in sensitivity to temperature, pressure and touch. In extreme cases some individuals may experience spontaneous shooting pains. Individuals at greatest risk for whitening sensitivity are those with gum recession, significant cracks in their teeth or leakage resulting from faulty restorations. If this occurs, we will stop the treatment immediately and you can make an appointment with your dentist.
Whitening sensitivity usually lasts no longer than a day or two, but in some cases may persist a little longer. We recommend toothpaste for sensitive teeth to reduce sensitivity.
Clients occasionally experience some degree of gum irritation usually from applying the gel onto the gum tissue. Such irritation typically lasts from a few minutes after treatment up to several days. The use of the vitamin e swab is very successful in eliminating gum sensitivity.
WHAT CAUSES TEETH STAINING?
Teeth Staining mainly occurs from our day to day lifestyle. Our diet and habits are the main contributing factors, drinking coffee, tea, red wine and smoking are the obvious ones. Over time stains build up on the enamel of your teeth and cause them to look many shades darker. Teeth whitening will remove these stains. There are some stains however that occur inside the teeth which unfortunately whitening is unable to remove.
Most of us start out with white teeth, thanks to their porcelain-like enamel surface which is composed of microscopic crystalline rods. Tooth enamel is designed to protect the teeth from the effects of chewing, gnashing, trauma and acid attacks caused by sugar. But over the years enamel is worn down, becoming more transparent and permitting the yellow colour of dentin – the tooth's core material – to show through.
During routine chewing, dentin remains intact while millions of micro-cracks occur in the enamel. It is these cracks, as well as the spaces between the crystalline enamel rods, that gradually fill up with stains and debris. As a result, the teeth eventually develop a dull, lacklustre appearance.
There is a direct correlation between tooth colour and age. Over the years, teeth darken as a result of wear and tear and stain accumulation. Teenagers will likely experience immediate, dramatic results from whitening. In the twenties, as the teeth begin to show a yellow cast, teeth-whitening may require a little more effort. By the forties, the yellow gives way to brown and more maintenance may be called for. By the fifties, the teeth have absorbed a host of stubborn stains which can prove difficult (but not impossible) to remove.
We are all equipped with an inborn tooth colour that ranges from yellow-brownish to greenish-grey, and intensifies over time. Yellow-brown is generally more responsive to whitening than green-grey.
Translucency and thinness:
These are also genetic traits that become more pronounced with age. While all teeth show some translucency, those that are opaque and thick have an advantage: they appear lighter in colour, show more sparkle and are generally more responsive to whitening. Teeth that are thinner and more transparent – most notably the front teeth – have less of the pigment that is necessary for whitening. According to cosmetic dentists, transparency is the only condition that cannot be corrected by any form of teeth whitening.
The habitual consumption of red wine, coffee, tea, cola, carrots, oranges and other deeply-coloured beverages and foods causes considerable staining over the years. In addition, acidic foods such as citrus fruits and vinegar contribute to enamel erosion. As a result, the surface becomes more transparent and more of the yellow-coloured dentin shows through.
Nicotine leaves brownish deposits which slowly soak into the tooth structure and cause intrinsic discolouration.
Tetracycline usage during tooth formation produces dark grey or brown ribbon stains which are very difficult to remove. Excessive consumption of fluoride causes fluorosis and associated areas of white mottling. Fluorosis will often be enhanced directly after teeth whitening, however, this will return to it’s previous state within 1-12 hours.
Most frequently caused by stress, teeth grinding and gnashing can add to micro-cracking in the teeth and can cause the biting edges to darken.
Falls and other injuries can produce sizable cracks in the teeth, which collect large amounts of staining and debris.
There are two types of tooth staining, extrinsic staining and intrinsic staining.
Are those that appear on the surface of the teeth as a result of exposure to dark-coloured beverages, foods and tobacco, and routine wear and tear. Superficial extrinsic stains are minor and can be removed with brushing and prophylactic dental cleaning. Stubborn extrinsic stains can be removed with more involved efforts, like teeth whitening. Persistent extrinsic stains can penetrate into the dentin and become ingrained if they are not dealt with early.
Are those that form on the interior of teeth. Intrinsic stains result from trauma, aging, exposure to minerals, chemicals and antibiotics like tetracycline during tooth formation and/or excessive ingestion of fluoride. These stains exist below the enamel and are unlikely to benefit from teeth whitening.