A client was due to get married in April and came to see us a couple of weeks ago looking to improve her smile. She had generalised discoloured teeth with prominent white flecks on her upper front central incisors. She wanted to look her best for the wedding day and wanted to know what her options were with such a limited time frame.
We assessed her mouth and made sure her teeth and gums were healthy and that she did not have any white composite fillings onher front teeth. We offered her the two types of professional tooth whitening systems to help to achieve whiter teeth and improve her smile.
There are two main options with professional tooth whitening. One is the in-office system, and the other is the professional at home kit.
The in-office system can whiten your teeth in as little as an hour. So it is great for someone who has a tight deadline to meet. Some in-office systems use a bright light soemtimes called laser whitening. This uses a light source that activates the tooth whitening gel which is placed on the teeth. Other systems do not need a light source and are chemically activated. The in-office tooth whitening system can whiten your teeth by a few shades straight away. We normally recommend combining this with the at-home kit to get the best result as it helps stabilise the tooth whitening procedure.
The professional at home kit use a lower concentrated gel which is placed into custom fit whitening trays which are then worn for 40 minutes per day. It normally takes 10-14 sessions of professional tooth whitening to achieve a great result.
You need to make sure that your mouth is dentally fit and healthy and that if you have crowns, veneers or composite fillings on the teeth that are to be whitened they will stay the same shade. Porcelain and composite fillings do not whiten.