Tooth Whitening- Q+A

What happens during the treatment process?
The process is relatively simple, involving just a few steps. Initially, your teeth and gums are checked to ensure that you are dentally fit and a good candidate for whitening. Then impressions are taken, and a custom-made tray that fits exactly to your mouth will be fabricated.  You will then be shown how to use the whitening gel, which is placed in the tray and worn through the night as you sleep. The trays are extremely thin and comfortable to wear, people rarely have any problems sleeping with them.

Is everybody suitable?
Most people are suitable candidates for whitening. However, it is not recommended in Males under 19 years and Females under 18 years of age. This is to allow a final stabilisation of tooth eruption so that any potential tooth movement will not leave a dark zone near the gum margins, thereby ruining the result.

Similarly, Patients with visible Crowns, Veneers, Bridges and Cosmetic composite fillings may have issues as these materials will not change colour during the process…this needs to be discussed with the Dentist to assess suitability.

How long do the teeth whitening effects last?
The results are long-term, but not permanent. People who smoke, or expose their teeth to foods and drinks that cause staining will see the results fade more quickly than those who don’t. Once your whitening trays are made, they can be reused, and it is a simple and relatively cheap process to “top-up” from time to time. We recommend topping-up one night every second month in order to maintain a steady result.

How “white” will my teeth go?
This is hard to answer as there are many factors including the structure and age of the teeth which can affect outcome! In general it would be expected to improve things by about two shades brighter but it can be more or less. At Market Green Dental , we would always try to get a realistic healthy white smile that is appropriate to the patients face, skin tone, age etc…Our system will get your teeth to as white as they can naturally go.

How soon will I see results?
You will see results within a few days but it is a chemical process so the more /longer you apply the product, the faster the results!

Is it going to damage my teeth for the future?
Absolutely not- studies of teeth whitening products using Carbamide peroxide showed little to no effect on the hardness or mineral content of a tooth’s enamel surface. And YES I have used it on myself so I do “walk the walk”!

Are there any side effects?
Between 10-20% of people who whiten their teeth experience sensitivity, either during the process when whitening, or the following day. This sensitivity is transient, and normally goes away within 24 hours. Using sensitive toothpastes is not advised until after the final result as it can slow down the process unnecessarily, because these toothpastes act to seal and block the visible tooth structure from External agents which can include the Whitening gels!

It’s cheaper in a Beauty Salon – I’ll just go there…
It’s cheaper for a reason- beauticians cannot check your teeth for decay/defective restorations, they will not be able to diagnose gingivitis nor periodontal disease. They are also unqualified to administer and monitor teeth whitening products.
Dentists are bound by codes of practices including cross infection control measures that are often not in place in such commercial whitening businesses.
The only saving grace is the commercial whitening clinics/beauty salons cannot get access to the same professional strength teeth whitening systems as the dentists (obviously the dental companies only issue their higher strength products to Irish & UK registered Dentists). So there is an element of damage limitation, in so far as, the product doesn’t actually work particularly well. The current Maximum concentration that is allowed for Dentists in Ireland is a 16% Carbamide Peroxide (i.e. 6% Hydrogen Peroxide) solution. The percentages of hydrogen peroxide that commercial whitening businesses/beauty salons can get access to is so low that there is a much lesser chance of these whitening products actually working to the same degree as that  delivered by a Dentist.

It’s been said time and time again- but sometimes spending slightly more now will save you in the long run.


Please keep an eye on the  website as there will be OFFERS on TOOTH WHITENING in the coming months!…Everyone deserves to be smiling at their best and this is a rewarding and easy way of helping our patients feel good about their smile! Thank you and please drop us a line if you have any further queries!

Author: Niall

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