.What is in the Special Gel?
The active ingredient in the gel we usually use is a 6% hydrogen peroxide gel. This is applied to the teeth at home by the use of a special custom fitting. It is worn for only hour, as relatively rapid formation of free radicals occurs, after which most of the hydrogen peroxide is broken down. This routine can be done daily and results are usually completed by one to two weeks.
Sometimes we use a 10 or 16% carbamide peroxide gel which breaks down into less than 6% hydrogen peroxide which then causes a slower, more sustained, release of free radicals. We use this for people who like to bleach their teeth overnight as it continues to release hydrogen peroxide for several hours, but needs to be used for more than just an hour for optimum effects.
Are there any side effects?
No, there may be some transient sensitivity of the teeth while you are bleaching them, but this can be treated with sensitive toothpaste. The sensitivity is not permanent and normally only lasts for a few days at most.
You no longer do the in surgery tooth whitening with the light anymore?
Since the 31st of October 2012 the EU has determined that the maximum safe concentration should not exceed 6%. Although the in surgery tooth whitening gels did work, the high concentration was well above 6% hydrogen peroxide and under the new EU ruling illegal. As the maximum 6% hydrogen peroxide can be used in the at home kit anyhow, we do not see the point in charging more for the same thing.
Is there anything required after tooth whitening my teeth?
Tooth bleaching will only lighten your natural teeth, and you may want to replace any dental restorations such as crowns and fillings with whiter ones if visible and aesthetically unpleasing. We will be able to advised you about this before your tooth bleaching.
How long does it take?
It takes on average 1-2 weeks to complete depending on the original colour of the teeth and also the desired end result colour. Obviously it is also dependent on frequency of using the kit, using it more will get to the end result quicker. With the 6% hydrogen peroxide it is generally easier to complete as it only requires an hour application at a time. When using the carbamide peroxide, several hours either during the day or wearing overnight is required, which may make it more difficult to complete the course quickly..
How long does it last?
It is a bit like after washing your car and how fast it gets dirty again. It depends what you do with it afterwards, do you just keep it in the garage or go off road in a muddy field with it! It would not be a muddy as had you never washed it in the first place thought. Similarly, after tooth bleaching it would depends on your intake of things like tea, coffee, cola, wine, tobacco, curries, etc, Basically anything that could permanently stain a white T-shirt could also stain you teeth in the long term. On average the tooth bleaching lasts for about 3-4 years after which most people might use one or two applications of gel, or white strips, to get them back to the whiteness they had. You would not need the whole kit again, just a Top-up bleaching gel which is available from mount florida dental.
How much does it cost?
It costs £250 for upper and lower arch tooth whitening, which includes the upper and lower custom made trays, 4x bleaching syringes, tray case and a smart carry case to keep it all in. Top-up bleaching gel is available to patients only at £25 per syringe. (Please note these are the larger 5ml version).
I have seen an offer for cheaper tooth whitening, is this safe?
You generally get what you pay for. If it is by another dentist is should be ok (check they are registered at www.gdc-uk.org). If it advertised at beauticians, hairdressers or worse a mobile outfit be very careful, it may be illegal and damage your teeth permanently. Tooth whitening systems from the internet or abroad could use things like Sodium Perborate or Chlorine Dioxide, which can permanently damage the enamel of the teeth.
I bought some “Whitening” tooth paste/mouth wash, why are my teeth not whiter?
Some may just work with abrasive means for superficial stains and not work for internal discolouration. These products cannot legally and safely contain more that 0.1% hydrogen peroxide, which is not high enough to make any realistic change to the tooth colour. Also as a toothpaste or mouthwash, it is unlikely to be in direct tooth contact that for a few minutes at most.