Tooth whitening is a safe and effective way of improving the colour of teeth.
Bleaching improves the appearance of your teeth without removing any of the natural tooth surface. Bleaching is a better and far more conservative option than a crown or veneer if you want to lighten the colour of healthy teeth. Placing crowns and veneers requires changing the shape of the tooth, involving the removal of natural healthy tooth material, whereas bleaching leaves the teeth unharmed.
Whilst there are a few products that are prescribed for in-surgery bleaching, the system we believe to be gentlest on the teeth is the take-home whitening system.
Bleaching treatment can take place at home or in the dentist’s surgery.
The dentist will give you a weak bleach gel to use in a tray which fits closely around your teeth. The tray makes sure that the gel does not burn your gums, yet keeps it close to your teeth. You will need to put the gel (in the tray) in your mouth for a few hours on several occasions, as instructed by your dentist (probably over a period of weeks).
It is better to start with one arch (usually the upper) so that you have a starting shade (of your lower teeth) to compare to. Also, wearing both trays at the same time may cause the seal keeping the bleach against your teeth to weaken.
The shade change differs from person to person, but you can decide when the shade is light enough to stop. If in the future one wants to lighten the teeth a touch more (the effect of the bleach wears off slowly over time), just wearing the bleach filled tray again for one or two sessions will bring the teeth back to the lighter shade quite easily.
Veneers are wafer-thin laminates or shells of tooth-coloured material that are cemented to the front surface of teeth to improve their cosmetic appearance.
This is done because the tooth might have been damaged by decay or an accident or might be badly discoloured for some reason.
Veneers can be made of porcelain by a dental technician or built up directly on the tooth using layers of tooth coloured filling material.
If the tooth is strong, a veneer is often a better option than a crown for improving a tooth’s appearance.