With teeth whitening being all the rage in Tinsel Town and with celebrities, we are all coming under pressure to polish our pearlies, but can we all have that perfect smile… and at what cost?
Can all teeth be whitened?
The Simple answer is NO. A dentist would first need to assess the health of your gums and teeth before you should consider whitening. Did you know if you have existing crowns, veneers or filling that these won’t whiten and you may end up having to replace them. The result could be white natural teeth and an old yellow crown or veneer. Natural teeth will whiten but restorations will not. Please keep this in mind or your “cheap whitening” may turn out to be more expensive.
Why isn’t brushing your teeth enough anymore?
It never has been. This will keep your teeth clean, but the stains that build up underneath the tooth surface can only be removed by bleaching the tooth. However it is far more important for the health of your mouth to ensure that you brush and floss everyday than have them whitened. Furthermore a recent study showed that flossing your teeth and keeping your gums healthy helps prevent erectile dysfunction.
Would gum disease prevent a Cosmetic procedure?
It depends on the severity of your gum disease but it would be the priority of any dentist to get any active gum disease under control before undertaking any whitening treatments
Do fillings respond to treatment?
Fillings do not respond to teeth whitening and so we would advise to have a whitening treatment and then replace any tooth coloured fillings with new fillings to match your new tooth colour – remember you will need to keep your teeth whitening topped up after this though.
Do you need perfect teeth to begin with?
Perfect is how you define it, some people are famous for having gapped tooth smiles such as Gareth Gates and Madonna but they can still have whitening. The great thing about whitening is that it doesn’t matter if you teeth are slightly crooked, have gaps or are misshapen they will still respond to teeth whitening. It is also probably one of the most cost effective ways to improve your smile without spending £1000’s on cosmetic veneers.
Is it a just a veneer or the complete tooth?
Teeth whitening doesn’t work on veneers as mentioned above but it works on natural teeth, veneers can reshape your smile and give them a whiteness that bleaching could not possibly achieve. The price difference is huge!
Why should I have it done?
It may improve your confidence, sex life, job prospects / opportunities, because you are embarrassed by your off colour smile. It may be that you want to give up smoking and have your teeth whitened as a starting point to encourage you… There are lots of reasons!
Could it all be done in one visit?
Absolutely! In and out in about 90 minutes but professional home whitening with deep bleaching over a period of 2 weeks gives a longer lasting and more dramatic result. However power whitening is great if you have an event that you need to smile for in 3 days!
Do you have to have regular re-visits to keep them in condition?
After the initial whitening it is recommended that you top your teeth up every 3-6 months to keep them sparkling. The amount of time it lasts depends on your eating, smoking / drinking habits as well as your level of oral hygiene
Is there a limit to the number of times you can whiten your teeth?
There is no limit to the number of times you can have whitening believe it or not some of our patients whiten their teeth every week on a Thursday night before going out on a Friday. The only downside would be that if you were sensitive to whitening or had sensitive teeth this may cause an issue. Most dentists would recommend topping your whitening up every few months.
Is it costly?
You should expect to pay between £300 – £700 depending on the brand of whitening used and the clinic you have the treatment. You can try over the counter treatments at your own risk, however Cosmetic Dentistry Guide would advise that you undertake any treatments with a dentists consultation and if necessary, supervision.