What happens at a teeth whitening clinic?
The total treatment usually takes place over 3–4 weeks. This involves two or three visits to the teeth whitening clinic to take impressions, make a mouthguard, and begin the treatment. Following this, you will need to continue the treatment at home by regularly applying the whitening product over 2–4 weeks for up to an hour each time.
During the actual teeth whitening procedure, the dentist places a rubber shield or a gel on your gums to protect the soft tissue. He or she then applies the teeth whitening product, using a specially made tray that fits into your mouth like a gum-shield. The treatment may need to be repeated several times to achieve the results you want.
Some newer teeth whitening products can be applied for up to 8 hours at a time, allowing results to be achieved in as little as a week.
Professional teeth whitening and internal bleaching
Many teeth whitening clinics also offer internal teeth bleaching. Teeth are lightened by placing a bleaching product inside the tooth, not on the surface. Internal bleaching is only possible if your teeth have been root treated successfully. When this is done, the blood vessels and nerves in the tooth are removed and a rubber filling is used to fill the empty tooth. This method of teeth whitening can be used on individual ‘dead’ teeth, which have been discoloured after root filling. These teeth can have the canal reopened and the whitening product placed inside to whiten the tooth.
Occasionally, the teeth whitening clinic will recommend a combination of external and internal teeth whitening to make the tooth look healthy again.
How long does professional teeth whitening last?
The effects of professional teeth whitening can last up to 3 years, but this may be reduced if you smoke, or eat or drink products that can stain your teeth. Your dentist can give you an idea of how long your results might last.
What results can I expect from professional teeth whitening?
The results vary from person to person and between the different teeth whitening methods used. Some people will experience a dramatic effect, while others may notice very little difference at all. The dentist at your teeth whitening clinic will be able to advise you on the likely results based on the original shade of your teeth and the teeth whitening method you choose.