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Ethos dental in Ringwood cares about its patients. Thats why when we see or think of something that we feel that our patients need to know about, we put our pen to paper and start writing. This is a blog on all things dental, be it dental hygiene, cosmetic dentistry ideas or just plain good habits!

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All about whitening

February 3, 2019 whitening

Everyone wants whiter teeth, it helps to build a person’s confidence and allow people to smile wholeheartedly.

With our teeth going through a lot with regular use on a daily basis, discolouration can occur which can affect our teeth.

What is Teeth Whitening?

It is applying a substance, known as Hydrogen Peroxide or Carbamide Peroxide to the surface of the tooth, which restores the teeth to the natural bright white colour they were, before everyday life stained them. Stains can occur from drinking coffee, tea, wine and smoking. Other causes can be dental factors (decay, stained or leaky fillings and tartar), aging and certain medications.

How long do they last for?

You will be provided with your own custom trays, this will allow you to touch up the colour as you wish. It varies from person to person on how often touching up is needed, it depends on the personal habits and the health of the teeth.

Assessment before bleaching:

It is best to do an assessment before starting teeth whitening, take advantage of our free consultation. What we look for in the assessment are:

  • Dental disease – we don’t want to damage the teeth any further or cause damage to the nerve. There should be no decay, leaky fillings or fractured/cracked teeth.
  • Tooth sensitivity – looking if there is any exposed root surfaces and also everyday sensitivity to hot/cold.
  • Level of discolouration – some dark teeth may be resistant to whitening such as relating to antibiotic taken in early life.
  • Any relation of darkness from trauma or previous root canal treatment – these teeth can be discoloured from the inside, which can be due to poor placement of root canal fillings or other reasons. To achieve the desired result, these teeth would need to be treated with internal bleaching procedure.


The risks of whitening treatment:

Risks are extremely low when adequate assessment is done before the process begins. However, teeth whitening can result in the following things:

  • Mismatched colours – filling materials can not be affected by bleaching, as well as crowns, veneers, bridges and implants. They would need to be replaced to have the desired whitening result.
  • Teeth sensitivity –this may occur and it is generally temporary. There are measures that can be taken to help with reducing teeth sensitivity.
  • Bleachorexia – is a term used when a person can becomes obsess with trying to obtain extremely white teeth.
  • Bleach resistance –teeth with deeper staining ( grey discolouration from the result of antibiotics) may be very resistance to teeth whitening and may have a better result with veneers or crowns.