Pearl News

Tooth Whitening?


The current must do for all celebs, socialites, wannabe’s and probably you! But before you do, know the facts!

Tooth whitening should be safe, easy and effective, but can be dangerous, painful and a waste of time if not undertaken by appropriately trained professionals.

Usually you have 2 options, single sesssion, or ‘power’ bleaching, and home, or ‘night-time’ bleaching. The two are not the same.

Power bleaching involves the use of high bleach concentrations, usually activated by a high intensity light, and should take about 90 mins to 2 hours to complete safely. It is often quite painful due to tooth sensitivity, but this is a transient sensation that will resolve after the procedure is complete. The colour will not be stable after power bleaching, and will fade by some degree over the following week or so. Never believe before and after pictures unless the after photos were taken at least 7 days after the procedure, as the colour on leaving the surgery is always much brighter than the final colour will be.

NEVER let non dental professionals carry out power bleaching for you. The bleach is strong enough to burn skin, gums, tongues etc, and without appropriate dental facilities available, any accidental damage to your mouth can not be treated as required. The E.U. have advised that bleaching should only be provided by dental professionals for this reason, and it is likely that legal cases against non-dental practitioners who undertake the procedure will follow.

If you do elect for power bleaching, ensure that you will be provided with custom made, tight fitting trays for home bleaching afterwards, or else, that you are advised that 2-3 sessions are likely to be required to achieve maximum whiteness, which will be quite expensive!

Night-time bleaching is very simple, and involves the fabrication of custom fitting trays for your mouth, which are then worn at night with bleaching gel applied. Usually, 14- 21 nights will be required, but this will vary from patient to patient. The bleach is a much lower concentration, and as a result involves much less sensitivity, and very little in the way of risk. It should be undertaken by a dental professional, as there are certain requirements in terms of the tooth and gum condition that dictate whether the procedure is safe or not. The final shade of the teeth will be very stable, and easily maintained by occasional use of the trays and bleach for a night or two. This is regarded by all respected bleaching specialists as the safest and most reliable way to bleach teeth.

It is possible to combine the 2 bleaching techniques for quicker results, whilst also achieving colour stability.

Kits for tooth bleaching found on the internet should NEVER be used, as they are unregulated, and in some cases have even been found to be acidic, leading to erosion of the teeth, and long-term damage. AVOID!