At Dental on York, your dental health and overall wellbeing are our top priorities. But we also know that sometimes you may want to change the look of your smile, and a popular way to do this is through teeth whitening.
That’s why we offer two main options for brightening your smile. To find out if one of them is right for you, we encourage you to make a consultation at our dental clinic, conveniently located on York Street in the Sydney CBD.
What causes tooth discolouration?
First, it’s important to note that just because your teeth aren’t perfectly white does not mean that they are “discoloured.” Healthy teeth naturally come in different hues and shades. Sometimes the enamel of the tooth can accumulate stains, which we often refer to as extrinsic types of discolouration.
Consuming coffee, tea, wine or even healthy favourites like dark berries or beetroot can sometimes have a staining effect on your teeth. And smoking tobacco is a common factor in tooth stains, aside from the many serious health risks involved in smoking. When we talk about intrinsic discolouration, this is usually when the dentin of the tooth darkens or takes on a yellowish tint. This can be caused by oral health problems like tooth decay or trauma to a permanent tooth. It may also be caused by issues like too much exposure to fluoride at an early age, specific kinds and dosages of medication taken at early stages of your development, or even certain medical conditions; in these instances, your tooth may be healthy but could nonetheless have a darker or yellowish appearance.
We’re explaining all of this because the colour of your teeth can be caused by many different factors – which means that different types of teeth whitening may not be effective or advisable for you. For example, teeth bleaching typically isn’t effective if your tooth colour is the result of using tetracycline antibiotics at a young age; this may mean you’ll need to consider an option like veneers to change the look of your smile. And, if there’s an underlying oral health problem, you’ll need to address the issue first before undergoing any whitening treatment.
So it’s important to consult with a qualified dental professional to fully understand your circumstances and options.
What kind of teeth whitening options are available at Dental on York?
If you’re interested in changing your smile’s appearance, our team can examine your teeth and gums, assess any causes of tooth discolouration, and make a recommendation. We’ll talk to you about your goals, budget and any concerns you may have. We believe in working with our patients to achieve an outcome that’s right for their individual needs and goals. If teeth whitening is right for you, there are two primary types at our clinic: in-chair whitening and at-home whitening.
In-chair teeth whitening tends to be the faster option because a dentist can use higher concentrations of the whitening agent. After professionally cleaning your teeth, we’ll place a rubber dam in your mouth to protect your gums and then apply a bleaching gel to your teeth. We activate this gel using a special light. The procedure usually takes about an hour.
At-home teeth whitening is different, although it still involves us giving you a professional clean beforehand. After a scale and clean, we’ll take impressions of your teeth and use these to make trays that are custom-fitted to your mouth. We’ll then provide instructions for how to use these trays with a special whitening gel at home. Your circumstances may vary, but we usually recommend wearing the gel-filled trays for about one hour per day.
The entire process tends to take about two weeks. Not only will these options depend on your oral health, but they’ll also depend on your goals. For instance, if you want a brighter smile because you have a big social event coming up soon, you may be better off with the in-chair procedure, which tends to take less time.
Can’t I just use over-the-counter whitening products?
It depends on what kind of product you’re using. Regulated whitening products in Australia tend to be safe, although this assumes that you don’t have an underlying oral health problem and that you use the product correctly. But even when used correctly, they may not produce results as dramatic as those you might be able to achieve with the help of a dentist. In general, you should consult a dental professional before attempting any sort of teeth bleaching or whitening. Even if you don’t opt for professional teeth whitening, a dentist can help you understand the causes of stains or discolouration, which options are safest or more likely to be effective, and tips for maintaining your results.
How long do whitening results last?
If you do undergo professional teeth whitening, the longevity of your results will depend on your individual circumstances. For many people, this can be about a year to a few years. Some patients regularly come in to “top up” or maintain their whitening results, while others may be content to simply minimise their consumption of common staining culprits (like tea, wine or coffee) to keep their smile as bright as possible without further treatment. During your consultation, we can give you specific advice on how long your results are likely to last. We’re always happy to speak with you about any questions or goals you may have! Get in touch with our friendly team or come by our clinic in the Sydney CBD to find out more.
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