Lets face it – we all want whiter teeth, however it can be daunting and confusing regarding how to do this. What works – what doesn’t work – “I don’t want to waste my money” – “I don’t want to damage my teeth”. Let us dispel any myths and clear this all up.
How does Teeth Whitening work ?
Every day our teeth are exposed to Chromophores, these are colored compounds with in foods and drinks that are absorbed into teeth. These chromphores can come from – red wine, coffee, tea, smoking, currys and heavily coloured foods. When absorbed into teeth these Chromophores darken the teeth causing yellow teeth or darkened teeth.
Teeth Whitening works by breaking down these chromophore molecules into smaller molecules that allow light to pass through the tooth easier, hence giving lighter looking teeth or whiter.
Teeth Whitening never produces that undesirable ‘Hollywood’ look as it only will allow the teeth to lighten to a natural shade. Often the ‘Hollywood’ look͛ is overly white veneers.
What are the options available for Teeth Whitening.
Teeth Whitening can be done in one of two ways or a combination of both :
Take Home – Tray Whitening
Moulds of your teeth are taken and a custom fitted mouthguard/tray is constructed for you to place the whitening solution into.
The solutions are typically 10% Hydrogen Peroxide and worn for 2 weeks 1 hour per day.
In Chair Whitening
In Chair Whitening is where the Dental Hygienist performs the whitening in surgery. A strong whitening solution is carefully applied for up to 75 minutes, providing instant results.
Which system works best ?
We get asked this question a lot. Research has shown that tray whitening still provides superior results, however compliance is a key factor in obtaining good results. For patients who struggle to find the time or motivation for at home whitening – then in chair whitening is much quicker and easier. Our recommendation is to combine the two treatments – the in chair whitening gives a good kick start and the take home whitening fine tunes the results and if you require a touch up the trays are easy and accessible.
Does it damage my teeth ?
Older solutions of whitening gels where acidic which was damaging to the enamel if over used. Modern day solutions are buffered to provide a neutral solution on the tooth surface causing no damage.
The only real risk is sensitivity due to your teeth drying out (Desiccation) this risk of sensitivity is greater with in chair whitening.
It is important to have your whitening assessment and treatment undertaken by a registered dental professional of the NZDA or NZDHA to ensure all the correct safety and standards are meet.
How Much does it cost ?
Take Home Tray Whitening $385
In Chair Whitening $485
How long do the results last ?
If you are smoker, coffee drinker or enjoy the odd red wine, you may have to touch up with further whitening every 6-12 months. If you avoid food and drink that stains your teeth results can last up to 24 months.
We offer a free 5 minute whitening assessment to let you know if you would be a good candidate for Teeth Whitening.