TEETH WHITENING EXPLAINED
Teeth whitening involves placing controlled amount of bleach on the teeth to breakdown the colour pigments on and in the tooth enamel. The stronger the bleach, the more pigment it breaks down, which is why in-chair whitening with higher concentrations of bleach is so popular.
Tooth discolouration is very common and can occur for a wide range of reasons including:
- Lifestyle such as drinking and smoking causing surface stains
- Failing to brush and floss frequently
- Poor oral condition such as decay and gum disease
Zoom Teeth WhiteningBefore: This patient of Dr David Li visited us and wanted to brighten up the smile. After: Dr David Li did three 15-minute cycles of Philips Zoom In-Chair whitening to achieve this result.
IN CHAIR-WHITENING PHILIPS ZOOM (IN-OFFICE BLEACHING)
The White Bite uses Philips Zoom In-Chair teeth whitening, which can be performed in a single 60-75 minute appointment. Zoom!TM involves painting high concentrate bleach on the teeth then heating the bleach with a blue UV light, which is often referred to as laser whitening. The advantage of the light is that it quickly heats the bleach to a high temperature, allowing it to penetrate deeper into the teeth. The bleaching process occurs through the release of oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide to bleach the discoloured or stained surfaces. Your gums, lips, cheeks and tongue are protected with specialised rubber and gauze seals to prevent burning.
COST OF TEETH WHITENING
The White Bite offers Philips Zoom In-Chair teeth whitening for $450. The price includes a take-home aftercare pack to help you keep your teeth whiter for longer. If a scale and clean is required prior to treatment, additional charges will be incurred.
WHAT IS TEETH WHITENING?
In general, over 70% of people experience a noticeable and significant colour change, about 20% experience only minor change and 10% experience almost no change. The determining factor is not the bleach concentration but the “bleachability” of each person, which is determined by individual variations in tooth mineral content. We generally find yellow pigmented teeth bleach better than white, brown or grey teeth.
All bleaching processes will involve a re-bound process whereby final tooth colour stabilises 2-3 days after the last bleach application, but we take steps to ensure that this rebound effect is minimised. All methods of bleaching will involve some tooth sensitivity and gum irritation however there is no permanent damage to the teeth or gums. Unfortunately, fillings, crowns and dentures will not bleach and may need to be replaced at the conclusion of the bleaching process.
Results from professional whitening treatments last between one to three years and most treatments can be reapplied, although most people only undergo one course of whitening treatment. Depending on a person’s smoking, drinking and oral hygiene habits, the results may last for only a few months. Good oral hygiene, regular professional cleaning and occasional bleaching will keep you teeth whiter for longer. Your smile may benefit from other restoration treatments such as veneers, replacement crowns or fillings.
OTHER TYPES OF TEETH WHITENING
Apart from our in-chair Philips Zoom teeth whitening, you have these other options to brighten up your teeth:
Bleaching Trays (At-Home Bleaching)
This method of bleaching involves the use of medium concentrate hydrogen peroxide placed on the teeth with custom made trays. The trays are worn for anywhere from an hour to overnight for 3 weeks (this process is also known as take-home whitening). Due to the lower concentration of the bleach and lack of heat lamp, the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide is unable to penetrate as far into the teeth and as a result the bleach needs to be on the teeth for longer than Zoom!TM to maximise the penetration of the bleach into the teeth.
Internal Bleaching of a Root-Filled Tooth
After a tooth undergoes a root canal it is prone to severe discolouration as a result of the materials used in the root canal treatment. If this discolouration is visible then you may need to internally bleach the tooth. This involves drilling a small hole into the back of the tooth, removing some of the filling from the tooth’s root canal, and insert the bleaching product. The hole is closed with a temporary filling. You will need to return to your dentist in about a week to have the bleaching product and temporary filling removed. To achieve a whiter tooth, the procedure may have to be done again. When treatment is complete, the bleaching product is removed and the hole is sealed with a permanent filling.