Tooth Whitening


There are many personal reasons for wanting a whiter smile. The traditional method of whitening a smile has usually been multiple crowns, and in the last decade, veneers. Veneers, like crowns, are comparatively expensive, time consuming to prepare, and are still invasive since the teeth must often be cut. If you are unhappy with your smile and want to improve it, the best way is to first try a tooth whitening treatment, since this is both cheaper and easier than the traditional cosmetic treatments. Better still, there is no need to cut the teeth.

Tooth whitening is now a common procedure in the USA, and is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. The amount of whitening cannot be guaranteed, but teeth are usually at least two shades whiter after treatment. The average result is four shades of whitening, but your teeth can be up to 9 shades lighter after professional whitening treatment. Whitening works even better on older teeth, but it cannot change the shade of old white fillings, crowns, veneers or dentures. Ideally whitening should be done before other dental treatments. Anyone with crowns, dentures, veneers and older composites may have to replace some of these if they looked too dark compared to the natural teeth after whitening.


sonicareMany companies produce so called whitening toothpastes. A recent ‘Which’ magazine study found none that worked any better than regular toothpaste with a good quality electric toothbrush. We recommend the Sonicare electric toothbrush for proven performance in surface stain removal, although the real benefit of a quality electric toothbrush is in helping to prevent dental disease.

However, if you are sure your teeth are totally clean, yet still darker than you would like, we can select and supply a suitable professional home whitening kit based on your tooth type. One method consists of a whitening agent (carbamine peroxide gel) and a custom made tray (mouth guard), which is worn for two hours every day for 3-10 days. A fine layer of whitening gel is held in close contact with the tooth surfaces by the mouth guard, and the precise fit ensures an even application of gel to the required areas. The upper or lower teeth can be treated at the same time or on different nights. The trick is to use the right product at the correct concentration.

For that Hollywood smile,

  • Visit one…. A full Check-up to ensure your teeth are in perfect condition. (Any tooth whitening done with defective fillings or unsealed cavities present may cause sensitivity.) Have impressions taken of your teeth for custom tray(s)
  • Visit two…A Hygienist treatment including air jet polishing to ensure your teeth have no dental plaque or external stain that might interfere with the whitening process. Buy a good quality electric toothbrush if you don’t already have one, and use it according to the instructions. (We recommend and stock the Philips Sonicare and the Braun range which we find are both better by far than manual brushing.)
  • Visit three…. The dentist checks and delivers your custom whitening trays and home whitening kit. You will have a full explanation of how to get the best results and time for discussion and any questions. Home whitening takes up to 28 days.