For me, having an attractive smile is as important as having healthy teeth. Fortunately, we don’t have to choose one or the other these days. One of the most common queries we receive is about how to treat discoloured or dull teeth. Discoloration can vary, of course, between simply dull teeth and those which are heavily stained.
In general, this is appropriate in cases of mild to moderate discoloration, including teeth colour which has been dulled by age. Whitening is not an invasive procedure and can be repeated time after time without any damage to your teeth. You can whiten at home whilst you are reading, watching tv or playing board or computer games.
Your dentist will check that your teeth are suitable for whitening, then take an impression so that bespoke trays can be made for you to use at home with the whitening gel. You only have to wear the trays for a short period each day or overnight, until your teeth are the shade you were hoping for. And just in case you want to take it a shade further, top ups are available.
Having veneers does mean some invasive treatment. So why have veneers if you already have your white teeth?
Well, heavy stains may not give you the result you were looking for. This could be the case if you’re a heavy smoker or your diet contains foods and drinks which have been proven to cause staining. Also, chips or cracks will not be removed by teeth whitening, and veneers can help with these issues.
When you have veneers fitted, this means a fine layer of tooth enamel is removed under local anaesthetic. Impressions are then taken and sent to the laboratory for your individual veneers to be made. Temporary veneers are removed when you return to the surgery for your fitting, then a strong clinical adhesive will hold your new veneers in position. They will be trimmed and polished so that they look natural. With proper care on your part, these should last around ten years.
Please don’t be tempted to buy any whitening products online. Always consult your dentist, because there may be a very good reason why you shouldn’t pursue whitening without other dental treatment – and it could actually harm you. Your dentist has a duty of care for your oral health, but an unregistered provider or an online supplier has no such duty. It is illegal in the UK for anyone other than a registered dental professional to carry out teeth whitening procedures.
So please stay safe and put your oral health in the care of your dentist.