When deciding on cosmetic dentistry the choice becomes yours. Trying to improve the aesthetic look of your teeth leaves you several options. Americans in general have a “boom” on cosmetic dentistry presently and then there is also the whitening or bleaching of the teeth to consider. This whitening process is completely different to usual cosmetic dentistry and is very often performed in the UK.

Sometimes teeth become stained or discoloured, however, there is an answer for this. Having the teeth whitened or bleached is a fairly lengthy process. This process is performed without removing any layers or surfaces of the teeth and is therefore less invasive. Sometimes called a ‘home treatment’ as you apply the chemical at home in the evening prior to retiring.  After consultation, the dental surgeon first has a mold or protective tray made for the upper and lower gums. This involves taking impressions of the teeth and gums which he sends away for the plastic ‘trays’ to be made. This can take up to a week or more. When the trays are ready another visit is required to check that they indeed fit correctly and fit snugly around the gums.

The trays need to fit very well as the mixture or compound to be placed in the trays becomes active when applied to the teeth. The ‘active ingredient’ to be placed in these trays is normally hydrogen peroxide or in some cases, carbamide peroxide. A chemical reaction takes place when these trays are worn filled with the compound. This is usually at night before you retire for the night. You are able to remove these trays in the morning washing the mouth thoroughly to rinse any traces of the hydrogen peroxide away. This active compound is gradually broken down broken down in the eight to ten hours depending on the length of you sleep or before you remove the trays in the morning. The chemical process is fairly simple as the oxygen gets into the actual enamel on your teeth. This action whitens or bleaches the teeth gradually. This process must be repeated every 24 hours.  The treatment can take up to three and in some cases four weeks as the teeth gradually become lighter, all stains being removed. This procedure can last for up to three or four years depending if you smoke which definitely stains the teeth or in some cases tea can stain after a period. Generally speaking, few people have brilliant white teeth and so this process can help considerable and is less expensive than other options.

Another option is to activate the chemical with a laser. The dental surgeon needs to check to see if this process is suitable for your application. If it is, the procedure is as follows. The gums are first of all totally protected by a seal, usually made of a special rubber. This covers the gums completely in order to protect them from the next procedure. A chemical bleach, normally hydrogen peroxide gel is then painted onto the teeth and a laser light applied. This laser activates the chemical gel painted onto the gums. The whole process take about an hour and you will notice how white the teeth have become. On occasions, you may have to have the treatment repeated after a short while.