Teeth discolour for a number of reasons:
- Diet – coffee, tea and red wine
- Lifestyle habits – smoking
- Medications – antibiotics
We offer 2 effective tooth whitening systems:
- Zoom Laser teeth Whitening, This procedure in done in the comfort of our surgery and within an hour you can achieve a brighter smile. Included is a program to follow up or maintain your new smile.
This innovative procedure is ideal for deep stains within the enamel and darker colour teeth.
- Take home smile whitening tray system. We make customised whitening trays and with easy to follow instructions you can whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home in a time that suits your busy lifestyle.
Some people may experience slight sensitivity after either procedure. Please as us about our range of desensitising products that we can provide for you.
After an initial consultation with our friendly dental staff you will be guided to the procedure that will achieve the most effective tooth whitening results to improve your smile.
Healthy teeth and gums make for a beautiful smile. You smile – we smile.
Teeth Whitening Perth: Frequently Asked Questions
- How Much Does It Cost?
We offer two different types of whitening systems with different fee’s
- In-Clinic ‘Zoom’ Whitening: (with free home-whitening kit)
- This is the whitening system featured on the TV show ‘Extreme Makeover’, and is generally our most successful whitening treatment. It involves applying whitening gel to the teeth at our Applecross dental clinic and activating this gel with a bright LED light to maximize the whitening action. Call us for this weeks special deal and includes complimentary ‘At Home Whitening’ as described below:
- At-Home Whitening:
- This system provides a more subtle improvement in tooth colour for reduced fee. Please call for this months special . It involves making a set of custom-made whitening trays/ mouthguards that are used to apply a whitening gel similar to that used in the ‘Zoom’ system, but with a lower concentration. Small drops of whitening gel are placed in the mouthguard, the mouthguard is then placed into the mouth and left in contact with the teeth for the prescribed period of time (usually a few hours). With repeated application this system will gradually and subtly improve tooth shade.
- Does It Work?
Yes. While results vary between patients, generally speaking all patients experience some improvement in the shade of their natural teeth. However
- Some start- shades respond better than others (for instance patients with yellow/brown stained teeth respond better than those with grey/black stained teeth).
- Some teeth may require additional whitening treatments to get a good result (for instance, root canal treated teeth usually require whitening agents to be placed inside the tooth, rather than on the tooth surface.
- Crowns/ bridges and false teeth will not whiten with these systems.
- Is it Permanent?
Generally speaking, the whitening result should be considered ‘long lasting’ but not necessarily permanent. Immediately after tooth whitening the shade is usually at it’s brightest, then gradually darkens over time but can often settle at a shade lighter than it was initially. You can prolong the life of your whitened smile by thorough and gentle brushing, regular dental checkups; restrict smoking and consumption of tea/coffee/ red wine and other foods that are known to darken teeth. ‘Touch-ups’ of your tooth shade can be carried out with the home care kit.
- How does it work?
The whitening solutions use oxidizing agents that breaks down large dark molecules that stain teeth into smaller, lighter colored compounds, in a similar manner in which hair colour can be lightened by the application of peroxide at the hairdresser.
- How long does it take?
The ‘Zoom’ in chair system takes approximately 90-120mins to complete. Patients do not need to keep their mouth open this whole time, however. Special cheek and lip retractors are used to provide space for the whitening agents to access the teeth. Patients can keep their mouth closed and teeth together for the full treatment.
The ‘Take-home’ kit can be used as often as necessary, usually for a few hours at a time (always under the direction for your dentist).
- Does it Hurt?
Some patients can experience tooth sensitivity from whitening. This is more likely to occur with the ‘Zoom’ system but can occur with the take-home kit as well. The sensitivity can be quite unpleasant but is very short lasting. Some dentists warn patients that they may have ‘intermittent episodes of short sharp, marked sensitivity that disappears almost as soon as it occurs.’ This could last for a few hours or more after the whitening has finished, but more often than not patients reports that the sensitivity was worth the result.
As whitening technology improves sensitivity has become less of a problem.
Sensitivity can be prevented by:
- being gentle when brushing your teeth, both before and after your whitening treatment
- Avoid very cold or highly acidic foods (like citrus fruits or wine) for 12hrs+ after your whitening procedure
- Use tooth desensitizing agents like ‘Tooth Mousse’ before and after your whitening.
- Will it damage my teeth?
When used appropriately under the direction of your dental health care professional there is no evidence to suggest that tooth whitening is harmful. However, whitening may not be suitable for every patient and it is important to discuss with your dentist your individual case and any safety concerns you may have.
- Will it work on my fillings and crowns?
No. Fillings are crowns do not respond to the whitening agents discussed above. However, more often than not, the whitening result achieved solely by improving the shade of a patients natural teeth (and not their fillings/ crowns) is often sufficient improvement for many patients.
Colour Differences Between Teeth
Not every tooth in a person’s mouth is the same colour as every other tooth, and colour does tend to vary even within an individual tooth. For instance, canine or ‘eye’ teeth are often slightly darker in shade than the teeth in front of them. The area where the tooth meets the gum-line, and the areas between teeth are often slightly darker than the middle of the tooth. The very incisal or ‘biting’ edge of a front tooth often has hues of white, blue or grey that are different in colour to the middle or ‘body’ of the tooth. Tooth whitening will generally lighten the shades of all these areas, but still maintains a natural shade difference between these areas. This helps to maintain a ‘natural’ looking white smile rather than an artificial ‘picket-white fence’ type appearance.
With this in mind, often small fillings/ crowns etc that are slightly different in colour often ‘blend in’ and a satisfactory result is still achieved. However, sometimes patients will choose to replace darkened restorations to match their new whiter shade after whitening treatment. This is up to the dentist and patients to decide, but is usually the exception rather than the rule.
- How long before I can eat and drink after whitening?
After the whitening procedures teeth can be quiet porous and are prone to accumulating food stain and are more susceptible to sensitivity.
We recommend avoiding any foods that would stain a white shirt or cause tooth sensitivity for at least 12-24hrs after whitening. This includes ‘staining foods’ such as tea, coffee, red-wine, beer, gravy, tomato sauce and curry; as well as ‘sensitive foods’ like ice-cream, citrus fruits, wine, ice-cubes etc.
Common sense again prevails, however. If you are able to tolerate eating ice-cream without causing any pain- then it’s OK to eat it. Likewise, if you can drink your coffee through a straw rather than splashing it over the porous teeth, you can probably allow yourself that caffeine hit!
You can also ‘block up’ the porosities in your teeth and reduce your risk of staining by using the same products provided for tooth sensitivity. Tooth Mousse is one of the best.
- What Can I do to keep my smile white?
- Limit smoking, tea, coffee and ‘tooth staining’ foods
- Practice gentle but thorough tooth brushing at least 2x/day and flossing.
- Maintain regular dental checkups for professional tooth cleaning (every six months is most common)
- Use a whitening toothpaste (under your dentists direction)
- Use the touch up ‘home whitening kit’ as required
- Consider re-whitening with your dentist as required (perhaps every few years)
- Will my health insurance cover it?
Some health insurers do provide a rebate for tooth whitening. Ask your dentist for the health insurance codes that you can use to check with your insurer.
- How often will I need to get it done?
It varies between individuals. While the teeth will not maintain their immediate post-Zoom whitening result indefinitely, they will often stay lighter than the original shade for extended periods of time. It can be touched up with the home-care kit as required, and the Zoom can be repeated under the dentist’s direction as per patient’s desires. It’s not unusual for motivated patients to repeat their ‘Zoom’ whitening every 2-3 years or so.
- What other alternatives are available?
Teeth Cleaning and Polishing
Sometimes what appears to be the most severe looking stains are often not related to the tooth colour at all. For instance, professional tooth clean and polishing/ replacement of old restorations may improve the shade of teeth without even needing to have them whitened.
Veneers/ Bondings and Crowns
If whitening is ineffective or not likely to achieve the results that a patient or dentist desires, sometimes one may opt to cover or ‘veneer’ the darkened tooth with a false tooth. This approach typically gives a much greater control over colour and shape of the teeth, and generally gives the most predictable result.
Sometimes (but not always) teeth need to be ‘trimmed down’ to allow the veneer or crown to fit over the darkened tooth. This is not always an appropriate course of care for every patient, and the advantages/ disadvantages of this approach need to be discussed with the dentist.
Materials used include white plastic or ‘composite’ or ceramic/porcelain. Typically ceramic gives a better result, is longer lasting and a little more expensive (ranging from $980-$1400 per tooth).
Ask your dentist which whitening approach is best for you.
What’s your next step?
Phone or email us today to make a teeth whitening enquiry (or consultation) at the Mount Pleasant Dental Centre – located on Canning Highway, Applecross. Let us explain the options available to you.