What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening as its name suggests is the lightening of the colour of your teeth through the application of a safe and medically approved gel. It is fast, easy and minimally invasive, requiring no local anaesthetic or any removal of tooth substance.
Why should you get your teeth whitened?
Your tooth/teeth may need whitening if they are discoloured. Reasons for tooth discolouration can be many, including:
- Extrinsic discolouration: From particular food and drinks like coffee, tea, or certain foods (e.g. red wine, curry, etc.) or smoking
- Intrinsic discolouration: Changes to the health of the pulp within your tooth (e.g. due to trauma, tooth decay, consumption of tetracycline antibiotics at a young age)
- Your dental history (e.g. fillings, crowns)
- Certain medical conditions and medications
- Developmental tooth abnormalities
Do you need teeth whitening?
- Do any of your teeth have yellow, white, brown, grey or black discolourations?
- Do you want a brighter smile?
What does teeth whitening involve?
There are two main ways as to how tooth whitening can be done – Chairside or Home-based.
- Chairside teeth whitening
Chairside teeth whitening is thoroughly done within your dental office by your dentist, where a stronger concentration of whitening gel is used on your teeth to achieve exceptionally quicker results. This is useful if you are looking for results on short notice. At Nuffield Dental Clinic, we trust our Philips Zoom! Laser Whitening System to aid us with this process. With this machine, your teeth can be whitened by several shades from their original colour with apparent differences in just one session.
- Home-based teeth whitening treatment
Home-based tooth whitening involves the instructed self-placement of whitening gel into customised trays made specifically for your mouth, which are then placed over your teeth. The gels are of lower concentration (as compared to Chairside teeth whitening). Depending on the nature and severity of your tooth discolouration, the duration of a treatment usually lasts from 2 to 6 weeks. Still, it can take up to 6 months for too stubborn and intrinsic stains. Chairside and home-based tooth whitening may sometimes be used in combination to achieve enhanced and sustainable results.
What can you expect when I have teeth whitening?
At your teeth whitening consultation, your dentist will thoroughly explore your concerns and determine the cause(s) of your discoloured tooth/teeth. Specific measurements and photographs of the colour(s) of your teeth, along with any necessary X-rays, will be taken. We will then discuss which type(s) of tooth whitening (Chairside, home-based or both) and other treatments you may need (e.g. scaling and polishing, airflow treatment) to be most suitable to treat your tooth/teeth discolouration.
Tooth whitening procedure
- Chairside teeth whitening
The procedure lasts around 1 hour. Your eyes, lips and gums will first be covered with protective material. The whitening gel is applied over the relevant tooth/teeth. Special plasma light is then shown over to activate the gel, allowing its gentle penetration into your teeth to break up stains and discolouration.
- Home-based tooth whitening
Intraoral scans and mouth impressions will first be taken of your teeth to construct customised tooth whitening trays. These will be collected at your next appointment. During then, your dentist will provide you with teeth whitening gels and instructions on how to use them with the tray. Depending on your type of tooth discolouration and the tooth whitening system used, you will be advised to wear the tray for a specified number of hours during the day or at night.
Once your treatment has been completed, colour measurements and photographs of your teeth will be retaken and reviewed with those collected before treatment, ensuring that you are satisfied with the results. This will be done immediately after the procedure for chairside teeth whitening, or at your 2 to 6-week review appointment if home-based tooth whitening has been done.
Depending on how stable your whitening effects are, re-whitening or touch-up whitening may be required every 1 to 4 years. Therefore, if you have had home-based whitening, it will be useful to keep your whitening trays in a safe, dry and clean place as you may be able to re-use them should the structure of your teeth remain the same.
It is especially important that you do not smoke while whitening your teeth at the same time as this can multiply the cancer-causing effects of the smoke.
Why choose Nuffield Dental
Nuffield Dental is a one-stop, multi-disciplinary dental care centre. At Nuffield, we put you first. We believe in providing personalised service for each patient. Our dentists have been accredited in implant dentistry and oral surgery for more than 20 years. We have accredited dental providers who are skilled in the area of dental implant surgery. For your convenience, we have clinics all around Singapore to meet your needs closer to you. For more information, please visit our clinic to book an appointment.