Excellence in Cosmetic Dentistry and Implants

Tooth Whitening


As people get older, their teeth can become darker, due to natural changes in the mineral structure of the teeth. However this does vary and in the same way that some people have dark hair or a light skin tone, so the colour of teeth is individual to each person. Some lucky people sail through life with naturally gleaming white teeth but for most people this is not the case. As all dentists know, these rare people are few and far between, but now there is a way that everyone can have the perfect bright smile they have always dreamed of.

Tooth whitening is an easy way for anyone to have a beautiful bright smile. Tooth whitening is an effective and relatively simple process that our London dentists can carry out for you with almost instant improvement. Having whiter teeth can give extra confidence create a great impression and make you look younger and more attractive. If you ever feel uneasy about laughing or speaking in public and just want to hide or put your hand over your mouth whenever someone takes a photo, tooth whitening may be the perfect solution for you. If you have a special event, a wedding or important social occasion coming up why not visit our London cosmetic dentists and ask about tooth whitening? In London we understand the need for people to look their best in a busy and competitive world.

Tooth whitening is a method of lightening the natural colour of teeth by using a gel of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which breaks down and permeates into the enamel and dentine to change their colour, without removing any of the tooth surfaces. This can be carried out in the surgery or at home.

Surgery Whitening by Opalescence

b38-opal-dam8tray-inside-pressWe put a rubber shield or a gel on your gums to protect the soft tissue and then apply the whitening product to your teeth. Then a special light is shone on the teeth to activate the chemical. This procedure takes around 1 hour for both jaws

Tooth Whitening

Research and experience have found that the main side effect is transient sensitivity, especially in patients who already have teeth, which are particularly sensitive to cold.

Laser whitening is the newest and fastest form of tooth whitening. It is carried out in our London dental practices by our highly trained dentists. Each tooth whitening treatment takes approximately one hour and the course of treatment will vary but generally 4 or 5 treatments should be enough to create the desired effect. It is a painless operation and although occasionally some people experience slight sensitivity afterwards, this quickly wears off within a few hours.
First, as your cosmetic dentist we will place a rubber cover over the teeth to protect the gums and sensitive areas of the mouth. After the bleach gel has been painted onto the teeth, a laser light is directed at each tooth. The effect of the laser activates the bleach causing your teeth to lighten very quickly, usually with immediately
visible results. Laser whitening is said to lighten the shade of the teeth by up to six times. This is a fast and efficient means of tooth whitening.

As your dentist we will make a rubber shield or tray that fits very closely over your teeth and which protects the gums from any possible damage from the bleaching product. The shield will be moulded exactly around the shape of your teeth creating a unique impression of your mouth. The cosmetic dentist will then apply the whitening product onto your teeth. This is a peroxide based formula gel and the whitening process starts as soon the peroxide reacts to the oxygen as it gets into the enamel of the teeth. The bleaching gel is left on the teeth for between 30 minutes and an hour. This is conventional teeth whitening.

After the initial consultation and a preliminary treatment, the dentist will then give you the tubes of gel and the mouth shields so that you can continue the treatment yourself at home. It is simple and your dentist will make sure that you know exactly what to do before leaving the surgery. You will need to wear the mouth tray for to 4 weeks for 30 minutes to an hour each day, depending on the result that you want. For people who have the stresses of work and a busy London lifestyle this small period of time can be a welcome break. Throughout the duration of the treatment your dentist will be on hand to give advice and check on your tooth whitening progress. The advantage of doing this yourself at home is that it is very easy and you can fit it in around the demands of your lifestyle. For many people in London a daily visit to the dentist would be impractical (however much we may enjoy seeing you!).
Our tooth-whitening programme should not be confused with home tooth whitening kits readily available for people over the counter. Many home whitening kits have proved to be dangerous, exceeding recommended levels of peroxide resulting in mouth burns or ulcers or are simply just not strong enough to have any effect. There have been problems with the mouth shields not fitting the teeth properly and commonly the bleaching gel is left on for too long.

The tooth whitening products that we use in our London dental practices are recommended and safe to be used when under supervision of the dentist. The rubber shields are professionally made and custom built to your mouth to ensure that your gums are protected and the precise timing and duration of the treatment has been worked out in advance by our dentists and is personalised and tailor made to you. The British dental foundation recommends that home tooth whitening should only ever be undertaken under the supervision of a dentist.
We also offer a combination of home tooth bleaching and laser tooth bleaching. This is sometimes known as power bleaching. This method gives both immediate and long lasting results. The laser treatment can either be done either before or after the home tooth whitening treatment.

In some cases, internal bleaching may be a suitable method of tooth whitening. If you have a lot of root fillings you may find that these have blackened and discoloured. This is because the nerves and blood vessels have been removed from the tooth. Internal bleaching is a simple and painless procedure. The dentist will drill a hole in the affected tooth – this will be painless because the root has already been removed, and fill the hole with the bleaching product. The hole will then be closed with a temporary filling and the bleach will be left to work inside the tooth and whiten it from the inside out. After a week or so the dentist will remove the temporary filling and take out the bleaching gel. If the colour is satisfactory the dentist will then refill the hole with a natural coloured permanent filling. If the colour needs to be further lightened, the dentist will apply more bleaching gel into the hole and the temporary filling will be replaced. This tooth whitening process will be repeated until the colour is satisfactory. Sometimes, internal bleaching needs to be used in tandem with other tooth whitening methods to ensure the maximum success. However our dentists will be able to advise you on all your tooth whitening requirements and the best way to get that perfect white smile!

The whitening effect varies from person to person but usually lasts for approximately three years. Quite often a simple visit back to the dentist for a “top up” laser treatment should be enough to keep your teeth in permanent top white condition (and further tooth whitening proceedures at bay!)
As always it is important to clean and floss your teeth and maintain high standards of oral hygiene. Regular check ups with your dentist and hygienist will ensure that your teeth remain fresh and stay white for as long as possible.

Research and experience have found that the main side effect is transient sensitivity, especially in patients who already have teeth, which are particularly sensitive to cold.