Whether it’s for that special occasion, or you just want whiter, brighter, fresher looking teeth, a non-invasive way to brighten your smile is with teeth whitening.
Teeth whitening can be achieved either using a take-home kit or in-office.
Take-home whitening kits start with an impression taken of your teeth. A custom-made tray is fabricated in the laboratory to fit exactly to the size and shape of your teeth. Then, at home, teeth are whitened by applying a small amount of the whitening gel into the tray for each tooth that is to be treated. The tray is then worn from 15 minutes a day, or overnight. This depends on the specific whitening product used. Results are seen from 5 to 14 days.
Alternatively, in-office whitening can also achieve similar results. Using this system, a higher concentration of gel is used and applied directly to the tooth. Over a period of 60 to 90 minutes, up to 3 applications can be applied to rapidly whiten the teeth. The advantages of in-office whitening is that results are same-day, which saves on the hassle of having to remember to apply at home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Teeth whitening usually consists of a gel made up of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, ranging from 6% to 40%. Carbamide peroxide gels break down to form hydrogen peroxide, so often it can be difficult to work out the strength of the gel from concentration alone. Hydrogen peroxide gels are generally three times the equivalent of carbamide peroxide, which means that a 22% concentration of carbamide peroxide is equivalent to 7% hydrogen peroxide.
At Compass Dental Care, we offer both in-office and take-home methods of teeth whitening.
We recommend take-home whitening as there are numerous advantages to this method. It costs less, is generally safer (since the whitening is applied over a longer period and therefore, lower concentrations of the gel can be used) and the trays can be kept indefinitely so that 6 or 12 months down the track, any relapses of whitening can be treated without need to come back to see the dentist again.
The disadvantage of course, is that it does take a longer time to work.
In-Office whitening can typically get results in 60 to 90 minutes using much higher concentration solutions. Generally, we would apply three applications of 40% hydrogen peroxide gel onto your teeth after protecting the gums with a foam barrier.
Typically, results last between 6 to 12 months, but is dependent on lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking tea, coffee or wine.
Generally speaking, teeth whitening is a very safe and minimally invasive way to brighten your teeth; provided that all of the instructions are followed carefully! The most common side-effect is general or local sensitivity, which can last anywhere between a day or two up to a few weeks.
Sensitivity during teeth whitening can often be a symptom related to over-brushing, clenching and grinding (especially at night), an acid problem from your diet or gastric reflux which is exacerbated by whitening. It is important that if you do develop any symptoms of sensitivity while undertaking teeth whitening, you let us know, so that we can examine for any underlying problems or suggest alternative solutions.
For take-home kits, we currently charge approximately $330 in-office whitening is currently $650 (inclusive of GST). This is current as of 1 January 2017. You will need to have a check-up prior to whitening to assess its suitability in your mouth as it will not be suitable for everyone.
At Compass Dental Care, all of our take-home whitening comes with life-time free top-ups. This means that at your annual check-up and clean appointment, if you have had whitening trays done with us, we will supply you with an additional gel syringe free to help maintain your white teeth.
(You must maintain a checkup and clean with us at least once per year to take advantage of this offer. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. Please inform at the time of your appointment or prior that you wish to take up this offer.)