Whitening

How Whitening works
The treatment whitens the discolorations in the enamel of your teeth. The discolorations due to age, coffee, red wine, cigarettes, some medications and colored foods usually are easily removed with the whitening Systems.

There is 2 Tooth Whitening Systems which are available for you to choose from:


Home whitening


Home whitening comes under 2 forms :Day or Night treatment - A self applied take home kit for home/work use (hydrogen peroxide based) The Day or Night treatment is a take home do-it-yourself kit to be applied to your teeth in the comfort of your own home.

Steps that your dentist and yourself will perform on your teeth:
  1. An impression of your teeth is taken by your dentist.
  2. A perfectly formed tray is made for you to take home with your own whitening kit .
  3. Brush and floss teeth. Take a syringe out of the kit. Remove the cap and insert a dispensing tip by twisting it securely onto the syringe.
  4. Place a small drop of gel into every compartment of the tray for the teeth undergoing treatment.
  5. Wear the tray with the gel around your teeth.
  6. Wipe away any excess gel on the gums with your finger, a tissue or a dry soft tooth brush.

    Depending on the level of staining on your teeth, and the health of your teeth, your dentist would have supplied you with a Day or Night kit in either 3%, 7.5% or 9.5% hydrogen peroxide gel concentrations. This percentage will be marked on the syringe. Wear the trays in your mouth for the time recommended in the table below or as directed by your dentist:

    3% 7.5% 9.5%
    2 or 3 x 30 min/day 1 or 2 x 30 min/day 2 x 15 min/day
    or or or
    1 x 60 min/day 1 x 45 min/day 1 x 30 min/day
  7. After treatment, remove tray. Rinse tray and mouth with lukewarm water to avoid thermal sensitivity.
  8. Brush teeth. Repeat the procedure as instructed by your dentist

How effective is it?

Before treatment After treatment


Whitening in surgery


The actual Surgery treatment takes about 1 hour and is performed by your dentist.

Steps that your dentist will perform on your teeth:
  1. Take and record the shade of your teeth with you.
  2. Your teeth are cleaned.
  3. A resin barrier is applied to the gum areas surrounding the teeth to protect your gums from coming into contact with the peroxide gel.
  4. A hydrogen peroxide gel is applied to each tooth.
  5. A light shines on the teeth for up to 10 minutes.
  6. The gel is removed from your teeth using suction.
  7. Your dentist will repeat Steps 4-5 about 4 to 5 more times.
  8. You will be asked to look in the mirror at your whiter and brighter teeth.


Frequently asked questions


1. What is tooth whitening?
Tooth whitening is the process by which the discolorations of the enamel are lightened.

2. How long will it last?
This will depend on the patient, and the patient's oral habits. The average person will require periodic touch ups once or twice a year.

3. Is the treatment safe?
Yes. Clinical studies have shown that bleaching under the supervision of a dentist is safe for teeth and gums. Your dentist will advise you on how to use the Day and Night take home kits.

4. How much does it cost?
The take home systems are less expensive than the in-office system. Your dentist will explain more and advise you on the price.

5. How white will my teeth get?
This will depend on your teeth - everyone's teeth are different. If your teeth are heavily stained from coffee or smoking, you will probably see a big change. If your teeth are not heavily stained, the change will not be as great.

6. How does tooth whitening work?
The active ingredient (either carbamide or hydrogen peroxide) is broken down, allowing oxygen to enter the enamel and dentin, causing the stains to be lightened.

7. Tell me about tooth discoloration
There are many causes of tooth discoloration. Some of the most common include the consumption of highly colored foods (beetroot, candy etc) and drinks (coffee, sodas, red wine). Antibiotics consumed at an early age, natural aging, smoking and trauma can also add to discoloration.

8. Do all teeth whiten evenly?
There is an overall whitening of all teeth. The biting edges of the teeth are more likely to whiten faster than the areas adjacent to the gum. It should also be noted that in some patients, whitening can result in a frosty, chalky appearance of the teeth, but this usually reverts to a more natural translucent appearance after several hours to several weeks (very rare).

9. Are there any side effects?
For the majority of patients there are none. However, some will experience temporary sensitivity (dull or sharp) on the teeth and/or gums. This will subside after several hours of stopping the treatment. The wear times can be shortened or made less frequent or topical desensitizing toothpaste or gel can be used. Abstain from carbonated drinks, citrus foods and beverages to avoid sensitivity for a few hours after treatment.

10. Are there any long term effects?
Dentists have been using peroxide whitening for over 50 years and there have been no known long term adverse effects

11. How long does the Day or Night procedure take?
This will be decided by your dentist. He or she will assess your requirements and prescribe the appropriate system and concentration.

12. What causes teeth to stain again after bleaching?
The same things that made them stain in the first place, ie general aging, red wine, smoking, tea, coffee, colored foods etc.

13. How often do you have to get your teeth whitened?
Once your teeth are whitened it usually lasts 1-3 years, however some people prefer to have touch-ups every 6-12 months.

14. Is it better to get the treatment now or wait until my teeth are more stained?
It is better to get it done now as the stains will become worse and darker. The teeth will then require more applications of bleach as stains will be harder to remove.

15. Are my teeth more easily stained now that they have been whitened?
No, the chance of staining your teeth are not increased once they have been whitened, if you follow the post treatment care instructions sheet given by your dentist.

16. Is it better for my dentist to do the entire procedure for me or to take it home and do-it-myself?
If you want a fast 1 hour result, let your dentist perform in surgery for you. If you have spare time, do-it-yourself with the Day or Night home kit.

17. Will my crowns, veneers and fillings get whiter?
No, only your natural teeth will.

18. Is it safe to whiten my teeth if I am pregnant or lactating?
No studies have been done on these people so we advise they do not undergo bleaching.

19. Do over-the-counter bleaching systems I can buy direct from companies work as well?
No, these systems do not require the expertise of your dentist so the trays are not perfectly fitted to your teeth. At the very least, you need custom made trays from your dentist. Sensitivity is often a problem if your trays are not properly fitted. The bleaching solution is not evenly distributed over the teeth, and saliva can seep in to dilute the solution. Many over-the-counter systems contain an acidic rinse which can remove significant amounts of the tooth structure. These types of systems usually contain a lower amount of peroxide, hence they are not as strong as what your dentist will prescribe.