Teeth whitening treatments are a great way to lift stains, correct discolouration in your teeth and achieve a brighter, healthier smile. Whether performed at home or in the chair at the dentist, teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatment in Australia. Below, we’re looking at what teeth whitening involves and how in-chair teeth whitening at the dentist differs from teeth whitening kits that you take home.
Kits for Teeth Whitening At Home
At Hawthorn Road Family Dental Clinic, we offer a teeth whitening kit that you can take home with you to achieve excellent results. You simply need to book a 30-minute appointment where we will take dental impressions that are then sent to the lab. After 2 days, you can collect your whitening trays and start the treatment at home.
Our kits consist of two custom-made trays that fit over your upper and lower teeth. You’ll also take home syringes of SDI Pola Whitening 22% formula. The Pola Day and Pola Night formulas are high-viscosity, neutral-PH gels that are pleasantly flavoured and easy to use. The gel consists of a unique blend of soothers, conditioners and water that further reduces sensitivity, making it safe for at-home use.
The benefits of at-home teeth whitening include:
- cost-effective and affordable treatment
- customised to your precise needs
- long-lasting results
At-home whitening can be slightly less effective than in-chair whitening treatments. This is because your dentist can work with a more powerful formula without any fear of damage to the teeth. We encourage our patients to combine both in-chair teeth whitening and at-home whitening for a longer-lasting result.
Visiting a Teeth Whitening Dentist for In-Chair Treatments
Professional in-chair teeth whitening from an experienced dentist produces faster and more reliable results. This is because in-chair treatments use a special gel with higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide or other whitening chemicals, which can be safely applied under controlled conditions. Your dentist can advise you on whether teeth whitening treatment will be effective for your case and clean your teeth before applying the gel to ensure even and consistent results. In-chair teeth whitening usually takes around one hour and may be performed over several stages depending on the desired shade.
The Process of In-Chair Teeth Whitening Involves;
- Anaesthetic is applied to the upper and lower front teeth
- A protective resin is placed in your mouth to prevent irritation to your gums and other soft tissues.
- Your dentist then carefully applies the whitening gel to the surfaces of your teeth
- The formula is activated with LED light 3-4 times for 10-15 minutes each round
Does Teeth Whitening Remove Stains?
Yes. Professional teeth whitening can remove deep tooth stains, whether they’re natural or due to environmental factors. The system works by oxidising stain particles within the small pores (tubules) across your tooth enamel without harming your tooth structure. By safely lifting these stains out of the tooth, your smile looks dramatically whiter than before.
Both in-chair and take-home whitening kits are equally effective. They simply work in different ways. One is expedited while the other is more of a gradual process. Your preferences are typically the primary reason for choosing one over the other.
Especially tenacious stain may respond to an in-chair treatment best. The direct application and activation process “jump-starts” your teeth bleaching and can be reapplied as needed. In about an hour you’ll see the fullest results possible.
Are there some types of stains that whitening doesn’t work on? Yes. However, if those discoloured areas are going to improve with a whitening product, they’ll likely do better with a professional strength system than anything you can buy at a pharmacy. Our Melbourne dentist can discuss whether specific parts of your mouth may not respond the way we want them to, based on experience with similar cases.
Internal staining caused by medications or defects can be especially challenging to treat. Professional teeth whitening is typically the first step when it comes to enhancing those areas. The concentrated products lift deeper discolouration, especially when the process is overseen directly by our dentist.
Professional vs. Over-the-Counter Products
Although you can conveniently find teeth whitening products at nearly any pharmacy or online retailer, the gels that are used are not the same quality you receive in a dental office. Only a dentist can administer professional grade whitening gels. Even if the two products seem to contain similar ingredients, the concentrations will be different.
Stronger whitening gel concentrations — available from a dentist — work quicker and more effectively. Especially if you have deep, tenacious tooth staining.
Although an over-the-counter product seems more affordable, you will likely spend more on whitening with that method since the gel takes longer to work. After you’ve purchased 2-3 kits at a store, a professional whitening system would have already given you the results you need.
How to Get the Best Results
It may seem obvious, but always use your whitening products as directed. Whitening too frequently can lead to unwanted side effects, while not applying it correctly will lead to unwanted delays. If for any reason you’re experiencing issues with your products, just call our office and we’ll be happy to walk through those concerns with you.
Brush your teeth with tap water prior to applying your gel, removing any plaque residue that may interfere with the product touching your teeth. Avoid using toothpaste immediately before you whiten, as some solutions may close off your tubules.
For at-home whitening, you want to be sure that the gel is evenly coated across your teeth. Apply just enough of the product into the reservoir in your tray so that when you press it onto your teeth the gel will cover all of the enamel (but not your gums.)
If too much gel is used, it can lead to gum irritation or mild burning. With a bit of practice you’ll quickly figure out how much works best for your specific tray. Our team will review the application process with you before you take your kit home for the first time.
Avoid eating or drinking after you whiten, as your teeth will be more apt to soak up new stains. For best results, whiten just before you go to bed at night. Depending on the type of gel we send you home with, you might even be able to sleep in the trays overnight.
Do You Tend to Have Sensitive Teeth?
Tooth sensitivity is a fairly common side-effect during whitening treatments (especially if it’s a particularly strong gel or you already have sensitive teeth.) To continue whitening while also addressing sensitivity issues, we recommend whitening every other day instead of daily. Additionally, switch to a toothpaste that’s formulated for sensitive teeth. Our Melbourne dentist can prescribe a different gel to use if you continue to experience any side-effects.
How Long Does Professional Teeth Whitening Last?
You can expect your teeth to stay white for several months following a professional bleaching treatment. However, tooth enamel is porous and will gradually absorb new stain particles. You’ll need to follow a regular maintenance routine to ensure that your smile stays bright for as long as possible.
If You’re Using a Professional Take-Home Kit
Plan to top off your whitening after each scale and clean. If you’re someone who tends to drink quite a bit of coffee, tea, or red wine, then you may need to touch up a bit more frequently (every 3-4 months.) In most cases you won’t have to wear the trays as long; an hour a day for a few days in a row is typically more than adequate.
Whitening gel can be stored in your refrigerator when not in use. The cool temperature will protect the solution so that it lasts as long as possible. When you run out, simply stop by our office to purchase a refill. Most people only need a refill about once a year.
Maintenance After In-Chair Whitening
Even if you had your whitening performed in-chair, we recommend having an at-home tray kit created so that you can top off after each of your routine cleans. An in-chair bleaching on its own may only last for a few years.
Don’t Skip Your Professional Teeth Cleanings
To keep your smile bright, be sure to keep your six-monthly checkups. During your clean we will polish off any superficial stain that accumulated since your last visit. Removing the buildup makes it easier to top off your whitening once you get home.
You can minimise new stain buildup on your teeth by drinking more water, rinsing your mouth frequently throughout the day, and using a straw when you’re drinking dark liquids.
The Professional Teeth Whitening Melbourne Relies On
At Hawthorn Road Family Dental Clinic, we offer a full range of treatments to protect and improve your oral health. Speak to us dental check ups, dental cleaning and teeth whitening treatments that will increase your confidence. Our professional and friendly team of dentists will help you achieve your dream smile today.
Book a consultation for teeth whitening at our dental clinic by calling 03 9533 0996 or contact us online.