What is teeth whitening?
It is a process that bleaches your teeth that makes them lighter. Although teeth whitening cannot turn your teeth a brilliant white, it can lighten the current colour several shades brighter.
Who is able to do teeth whitening?
Since teeth whitening is a type of dentistry and only should be conducted only by a dentist or other type of regulated dental professional, like a dental therapist or a dental hygienist, by a dentist’s prescription. The Fleet dental centre offers this service.
Teeth offering is offered by some beauty salons. However, unless there is a dental professional present, it is illegal, and your oral health could be put at risk.
There are also DIY home teeth whitening kits that you can purchase but they can carry risks as well.
What occurs during the teeth whitening process?
If you are having your teeth whitened, several dental surgery visits will be necessary over a few months.
An impression is taken of your teeth by a dentist to create a mouthguard and teach you how to use it along with a bleaching gel. You will then use your mouthguard while you are home, and apply the gel regularly over a certain time period of 2 to 4 weeks. There are certain whitening gels that you can leave on for as long as 8 hours at a time, which shorts the treatment time to 1 week.
Power whitening, or laser whitening, is another type of teeth whitening system that can be provided by a dentist. The dentist paints a bleaching product on your teeth. A light or laser is then shone on them which activates the whitening. It takes around an hour for the laser whitening process.
Can teeth be whitened by any dentist?
Any dentist that is registered with the General Dental Council can whiten teeth. Registered dental hygienists and dental therapists can also perform teeth whitening on a dentist’s prescription.
To find a GDC-registered dental professional you can call 0207 167 6000 or check their online register.
What about beauty salons and home kits for teeth whitening?
Only a registered dental professional should perform teeth whitening since whitening by unqualified people is illegal, such as by beauty salons. There are risks also associated with home kits.
What risks are associated with salon teeth and home kit whitening?
There are some home kits that do not have enough whitening products in them in order to be effective. In addition, if the whitening is not being done by a dental professional, the mouthguard that you are given might not fit correctly which can cause some bleaching gel might leak into your mouth or onto your gums, which can cause sensitivity and blistering.
Teeth whitening that is conducted by staff without any dental qualifications or untrained staff in beauty salons is illegal and can place your oral health at risk.
Does the NHS have teeth whitening available?
Teeth whitening can only be done on the NHS when there is a medical reason. One example is it could be to lighten discoloured teeth due to the nerve dying.
Otherwise, you can have teeth whitening done by a dentist or another professional privately since is considered to be a cosmetic treatment. The cost can vary and in contrast to professional bleaching, laser whitening costs more.
Where can I get information on having my teeth whitened?
A dentist can advise you on whether whitening your teeth is right for you. For example, teeth whitening might not be suitable if you have crowns or gum disease.
Before going forward, what questions should I ask my dentist?
Do not hesitate to ask basic questions about the different kinds of whitening treatments that are available, whether or not their work is guaranteed over a certain time frame, and what results can be expected.