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05 / 05 / 2021

The Best Way To Whiten Teeth

National Smile Month begins on 17th May, so there’s never been a better time to take action if you’re not 100% happy with your teeth. A great oral health regime is important all year round, of course. Your teeth and gums play a key role in your life, so it’s important to give them the TLC they deserve. Regular brushing, flossing and dental check-ups are the best way to keep everything in tip-top condition. But, even then, sometimes teeth need some extra attention to stay white and bright. Teeth staining or discolouration is quite common. The good news is there are specialist treatments available to help. But don’t be tempted by over-the-counter DIY bleaching kits! The best way to whiten teeth is to visit your dental practice for a professional teeth whitening procedure.

What causes teeth staining?

Teeth staining can be quite frustrating, especially if you generally take good care of your teeth. There are three main types: intrinsic, extrinsic and age-related. Intrinsic staining is when the inner structure of your tooth (the dentine) becomes discoloured. This can be caused by tooth trauma, the use of tetracycline antibiotics, or the tooth development disorder dentinogenesis imperfecta. Extrinsic staining is when the outer layer of your tooth (the enamel) becomes discoloured. Common causes include certain common food and drinks, and smoking. Lastly, age-related staining is basically wear and tear, and combines both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Whatever type of staining you’re keen to deal with, the best way to whiten teeth is to seek expert advice before embarking on any sort of treatment programme.

Rising demand

The demand for teeth whitening has skyrocketed in recent years. Understandably, it stalled temporarily during the peak of COVID-19, but as lockdown eases it’s firmly back on the treatment agenda. So why is this procedure so popular? And what is the demographic of patients keen to get it done?

“These days people are far more conscious of their smiles, thanks to social media and celebrity influences,” notes one of Lighthouse Dental Practice’s dental hygienists, who performs teeth whitening procedures. She explains that in terms of cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening is a relatively fast, inexpensive fix. “It’s definitely a cheaper and less invasive option that crowns, veneers or bridges”. “And it doesn’t alter the long-term structure or health of the teeth. Additionally, I think that, as most people won’t be going on holiday this year, they’re choosing to invest money in their smile instead.”

Professional teeth whitening is popular with both men and women of all ages (although the patient must be over 18 and dentally fit. However, the treatment isn’t suitable for pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers). The best way to whiten teeth is to start by booking a dental examination to assess the suitability for treatment.

“The dentist will ensure that the patient does not have any active decay or gum disease that would need addressing first,” Anna explains. “And it’s important to realise that any existing crowns, bridges, veneers or fillings will not whiten. So, any changes to these types of restorations will not be included in your whitening fees.” She continues: “This assessment will then be followed by a dental hygienist appointment to remove any hard plaque and surface stains. We will also create an oral hygiene plan, which we tailor to the patient’s individual needs.”

What does the treatment involve?

A bespoke treatment is always the best way to whiten teeth. “At Lighthouse Dental Practice, our whitening trays are made using an impression material, which takes moulds of both the upper and lower teeth”. “We also take photographs, and note the starting shade of the teeth.

“We then send these moulds to a dental lab, to make bespoke whitening trays that are custom-fit for the patient’s teeth. This usually takes a couple of weeks, although an express service is also available.”

She continues: “When we receive the trays back, we then invite patients back for an appointment, during which we check the trays for fit and comfort. And we explain in detail how to fill them with the whitening gel; when and how to wear the trays; cleaning and storage; and general ‘dos and don’ts’. Lastly, we make a review appointment for four-six weeks’ time.”

Teeth whitening: A case study

Hannah Taghdi is a trainee dental nurse and receptionist at Lighthouse Dental Practice. In this case study, she reveals why she decided to go ahead with treatment. And Hannah also explains why a professional procedure is always the best way to whiten teeth:

Why did you want to have your teeth whitened?

I have wanted whiter teeth for a couple of years now, mainly due to some staining caused by a lot of peppermint tea! However, I also felt if I had them whitened, this would help to give me a bit more confidence when smiling for photos. I wanted to feel confident and excited to show off my teeth in a new shade. Now it’s 100% done that for me!

What did the process involve?

After an initial consultation with the dentist, he took impressions of my teeth then sent these to a dental lab to make my whitening trays. Once these came back to the practice, the dentist checked these fitted my teeth perfectly. He then went through the whitening process with me. This included showing me how to fill the trays with product, and going through all the necessary instructions with me before I left the practice.

How many times did you need to visit the dentist?

Just three times. Once for the consultation, another occasion for the impressions then the final appointment to check the trays fitted and to collect my whitening syringes.

How do you feel now that you’ve had your teeth whitened?

I’m so happy with the results! I can’t wait to start showing off my teeth more and more in photos now.`

Why would you recommend this procedure at Lighthouse Dental Practice to others?

The team make every single patient feel comfortable and welcome in the surgery. I felt completely at ease, and was kept thoroughly informed about the procedures I needed in order to obtain the best results. I’d definitely recommend it as the best way to whiten teeth!

We offer a wide range of both routine and cosmetic dentistry treatments. For more information about any of our procedures – or to make an appointment – simply give us a call on 01473 257379, email welcome@lighthousedentalpractice.co.uk or book online.

We are here to help you
If you would like to speak to a member of our friendly team about any of the issues in this article please visit our contact page or call us on 01473 257379.

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“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk ...“

Jenny

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“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantast...“

Dee D

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“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to...“

Earlmain L

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“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a to...“

Ginette S

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“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my too...“

Susannah B

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“Having not been to a dentist in over 25 years, I was a bag o...“

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stars 1

“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk in the door. She is not onl...“

Jenny

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“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantastic; she went above and beyond ...“

Dee D

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“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to the dentist. A broken tooth ...“

Earlmain L

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“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a tooth for a few days and was una...“

Ginette S

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“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my tooth removed. I was instantly pu...“

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“Having not been to a dentist in over 25 years, I was a bag of nerves when I arrived, but I...“

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