What is teeth whitening?
The natural white enamel of our teeth is not immune to stains that come from food and drink; it’s also likely that it will become darker over time as it becomes more porous. This is something that most people will have noticed at one point or another in their lives, and plenty have taken advantage of teeth whitening procedures to bring back the natural brightness to their smile. Brushing and flossing helps to get rid of superficial stains, but there’s not much it can do to break down layers of staining that have built up over time, or to help with teeth affected by habitual smoking. Enlighten teeth whitening is a leading treatment in the dentistry world, used by professionals every day to lighten darkened enamel and bleach deep stains to a pearly white finish.
Does it work?
Teeth whitening is not a particularly complicated or invasive procedure, and it is very effective. Using small amounts of bleach, Enlighten can dissolve stains in a matter of minutes, without damaging the structure of the teeth or the surrounding tissues, whitening teeth by eight shades or more in under an hour.
At the Pearl Dental Clinic in London, you can make an appointment with qualified, professional staff, to give you the ‘Hollywood’ smile that everyone wants. You might be surprised by the instant, dramatic change in your appearance after your treatment – compared to the much slower home kits that won’t have any where near the same effect.
What happens during the treatment?
Firstly you will have your initial consultation with your dentist to assess the condition of your teeth and to decide how intensive the whitening treatment needs to be. If you have deep staining that needs dealing with, you may be required to return for a second procedure, but most patients find that one is enough.
Secondly, the technician will apply Enlighten bleaching gel to the surface of your teeth – protecting the gums with either a shield or some cotton wool, this is because the bleach can irritate or burn the soft tissue if it is left in contact for any length of time. Your mouth is then exposed to a blue curing light that activates the ingredients in the gel and begins to break through the stains. This process lasts for around twenty minutes, after which the gel is removed and a fresh layer reapplied for a further twenty-minute session. After three treatments in a row, the procedure is complete and your teeth should be visibly much lighter than they were before. This should take no more than an hour in total, and then you’re free to leave the clinic.
Is it safe?
On the whole, teeth whitening is a very safe, painless procedure, there are some minor risks but thousands of treatments are carried out each day without incident. Before you are prepared for the whitening process, your dentist should explain it fully beforehand and advise you on any of the side effects that might occur. At this stage, you will have the chance to ask any questions or voice any concerns that you might have and the dental technicians will be able to reassure you if you’re feeling anxious at all.
Some tenderness and mild sensitivity is commonly experienced following the treatment, but it shouldn’t last more than a few hours. If you are particularly thin-skinned and worried about pain, over-the-counter painkillers should alleviate your symptoms until they disappear on their own.
The only real problems with tooth whitening tend to arise when the bleach in the gel comes into contact with the gums or cheeks, this is something more commonly associated with home kits and not with professional treatments, the gel used in surgeries has a very high level of viscosity to avoid this side effect, but it can still happen occasionally. There is no real lasting damage from mild chemical burns, most patients find that their gums are slightly discoloured or have pale patches on them. This is not at all life threatening or significantly painful, but you can always call an emergency dental health line or make an appointment if you’re overly concerned.
After the procedure, it’s advised that you avoid hot or cold temperatures, this can cause a slight toothache, but this isn’t a permanent state and should subside after a couple of days.
A further complication – not particularly a health risk – is the teeth reverting to their original condition somewhat, as they can sometimes do as they begin to rehydrate after the whitening procedure. This is a more prevalent in cases where there has been a drastic change in colour, and patients can return for further treatment if they don’t like the results.
How much does it cost?
Enlighten teeth whitening is extremely popular because of it’s short treatment times and dramatic effects; it’s also a procedure that won’t break the bank for many of us. The top clinics in London are likely to charge more for the use of their services, but even then you shouldn’t be paying more than a hundred pounds or so – a small price to pay for a brand new smile. If you’d rather pay a few pounds for a home kit you might save some money, but you won’t see anything like the same results, if you see any at all. The cheapest options won’t give you what you want, and if you’re prepared to invest a little bit of money you won’t be disappointed.