Teeth whitening involves bleaching stains on teeth to make them whiter. While it can’t make your teeth paper white like in movies, it can lighten the existing color by several shades. The process employs an agent that removes stains on the enamel caused by lifestyle factors through an oxidation reaction, breaking apart and lifting the staining compounds from the teeth.
How Teeth Whitening Works
Teeth whitening primarily targets surface stains and does not whiten the enamel, regardless of the lamp or gel strength, whether performed by a technician or a dentist. ‘Maximum Results’ are achieved when virtually no more stains can be whitened. The maximum result is typically the return of teeth to their natural color. The average person has 5-14 shades of staining on their teeth’s surface due to diet and lifestyle.
In-chair systems use peroxide or non-peroxide gels, combined with a teeth whitening machine to expedite the whitening reaction. In-office treatment can achieve around five to fourteen shades of whitening after two twenty-minute sessions.
Technician-supervised systems have advantages over over-the-counter products as they can achieve maximum results in a single one-hour session instead of repeated applications over days or weeks.
Teeth whitening isn’t permanent and can last from several months to up to two years, depending on one’s lifestyle. Smoking, consuming red wine, tea, or coffee can reduce the longevity of the treatment. Teeth whitening does not affect dentures, crowns, fillings, or veneers.
What Results Can the Client Expect?
We offer the strongest gels available for use outside of dental clinics in Australia, coupled with top-grade equipment. Most clients achieve maximum results with our products in a single treatment, typically 5-14 shades lighter. Results vary according to individual factors, including diet, lifestyle, and previous whitening treatments. The more stained a person’s teeth, the more dramatic the result.
Teeth whitening targets surface stains, not the enamel, regardless of the peroxide strength or the lamp’s power. Teeth with little staining or regular whitening treatments may show less significant results. The original color of a person’s teeth also affects the outcome.
Managing Client Expectations
Setting the right expectations is crucial for the teeth whitening process. It’s important to ensure clients understand that teeth whitening does not yield paper-white teeth, as seen with porcelain veneers, but rather enhances their natural color. Results are subjective and may be affected if clients have used home whitening products or specific dental conditions.
Which Stains Will Get the Best Results?
Teeth with yellow stains, often on the surface due to food and drink, are generally the easiest to whiten. Brown stains, which work deeper into the enamel and are associated with aging, may show moderate results. Grey stains, caused by intrinsic staining within the tooth, do not respond to teeth whitening.
Does Age Make a Difference?
Age plays a significant role in teeth whitening results. Younger clients with healthier enamel achieve better outcomes, while older individuals may have thinner enamel with microscopic cracks, trapping stains and yielding less significant results.
Signing the Client Consent Form
It’s crucial for clients to read and sign the client consent form, which works with your insurance to protect you in case of complications. Some clients should avoid teeth whitening due to increased risk, as outlined in the consent form.
Provide the aftercare sheet during the consultation, discussing the importance of a white diet for 24-48 hours after treatment to prevent restaining. Avoiding alcohol is also advisable to ensure clients adhere to the diet.