Which Teeth Whitening Treatment Is Best For You?

A closer look at some of the cosmetic tooth whitening procedures available for Bedford patients

Whiter teeth exampleWith the expectation that society will soon open up further following Covid restrictions, we are sure that some of you may be thinking about comsetic dentistry as you get ready to mingle more freely again.

The last year or so has been hard on many of us and what could be better as we start to get back to normal, than giving your smile a real boost.

The most likely way that people will look to do this is by having their teeth whitened. This is perhaps the most popular cosmetic dental treatment at the moment and has been widely used and promoted by many TV ‘celebrities’. Given the widespread use, it is understandable that more and more people want to have a beautiful white smile.

There are various ways of approaching the problem of stained and discoloured teeth and each has its merits and will depend on each individual’s situation. In today’s blog, we will take a look at the options that we have available for patients here at The Dental Centre Bedford.

Professional clean

The first option is not a cosmetic treatment but should be an important part of your regular dental care. This is a professional cleaning that is provided by a hygienist. The treatment is more commonly known as a ‘scale and polish’ or as some call it, a ‘scrape and polish’ from the first part where tartar is ‘scraped’ from the teeth and gum line. This is an important treatment to help prevent gum disease and it is the final part of this treatment which also has some minor cosmetic benefits.

To complete the cleaning, the hygienist will use a high speed rotating brush to remove any remaining tartar. It also has the added bonus of removing some surface staining from the tooth enamel. This can help to ‘pep up’ the whiteness of your teeth although the effects are limited and, for a real improvement, one of the following two options are most likely to be needed.

Teeth whitening

This is the most common cosmetic treatment that we use to whiten our patient’s teeth. It is non-invasive and long lasting and can be repeated as often as the patient wishes with no ill effect. It is, of course, important that we also make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy as there is little point in having white teeth that are decaying! The treatment offered by our Bedford dental team is a customised ‘at home’ treatment. Although DIY kits can be bought at chemists, these are less likely to be as effective. Additonally, the non custom whitening trays that have to be worn may be uncomfortable and may not fit securely enough to prevent the bleaching agent from coming into contact with the gums. This could be painful and may cause irritation.

By ensuring that the trays we provide are made for each individual patient from impressions that are taken of your teeth, we can help to ensure that your treatment is both safe and comfortable. You will be provided with a whitening gel which is to be placed into the trays and worn for a few hours each day whilst you watch TV or read etc. You should start to notice an improvement in the colour of your teeth after a week or so, with the maximum effects being seen a week after that.

Before we commence the treatment, we will discuss the level of whiteness that you want and adjust the treatment accordingly. Not everybody wants the most ‘dazzling’ whiteness possible.

Porcelain dental veneers

Whilst most patients will be able to have a straightforward teeth whitening procedure as above, for some this may be insufficient. Teeth that are heavily stained or have other ‘defects’ such as visible cracks or chips in them may warrant a more invasive treatment in the form of dental veneers. These are fine tooth shaped layers of porcelain which are attached to the front of the affected tooth or teeth, usually following the removal of an equivalent amount of the natural but damaged or stained enamel.

Whilst this does require some minore dental surgery, it should cause no major discomfort as it will be performed using a local anaesthetic. Once the new veneers have been attached, you will have a brighter whiter smile that should last for many years to come. In general, porcelain veneers should last for around ten years before needing to be replaced.

This is a great option for those who might feel that their teeth have passed the point where they will be able to have an attractive smile again. This might apply, for example, to people who have teeth that are severely stained through years of smoking or have sustained damage by chipping or cracking.

An initial consultation is needed before any of these treatments can start, so to book yours, please call The Dental Centre Bedford on 01234 819868.