FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Do I need to bleach my teeth?
A. This is a personal choice. A useful guide for you is the colour of your teeth should be the same colour as the whites of your eyes. Although some people do prefer to have their teeth brighter than this.
Q. How do I bleach my teeth?
A. We take impressions of your teeth, upon which we make custom-made trays (thin mouth-guards) which are very comfortable to wear. Within a day or 2, your trays are ready. We then supply you with your trays & bleach for you to use at home.
Q. Will bleaching my teeth harm them in any way?
A. There is no evidence to suggest that bleaching causes any harm to your teeth.
Q. Does tooth bleaching have any side-effects?
A. The only side-effect is in some cases while bleaching, your teeth can become sensitive to hot & cold drinks/food. (This is more likely if you have a history of sensitive teeth). If this does occur, there are several measures which can be taken to minimize/eliminate the sensitivity without effecting the bleaching result. Your dentist can advise you of these simple, yet effective, measures. Once the course of bleaching has been completed, the sensitivity will resolve. Some people also report gum irritation while bleaching but this is very rare & totally reversible. Again, your dentist can advise you as to how to manage this if it occurs.
Q. What happens if I swallow some of the bleach?
A. Nothing. Our bodies naturally produce much, much more peroxide than what is in the bleach.
Q. What type of bleach is used to bleach my teeth?
A. Carbamide Peroxide. Over the last 20-30 years, Carbamide Peroxide has been proven to be by far the best & safest bleach available to bleach teeth. Hydrogen Peroxide is used as an alternative when people do not want to bleach their teeth overnight. This is also extremely safe but is slower acting.
Q. I don’t want to bleach my teeth at home so are you able to bleach my teeth in the surgery like I’ve seen on TV?
A. No. What you have seen on TV shows is very misleading. All forms of bleaching done in the dental chair simply provide a jump-start to the bleaching process. Without using the bleaching trays at home, the results of these dental-chair bleaching regimes disappear within days.
Q. What about these lights & lasers that I’ve seen used to bleach teeth?
A. There is zero clinical evidence to suggest that any lights/lasers aid in the bleaching process. And there are concerns that because these lights/lasers heat the tooth, there is a greater risk of increased tooth sensitivity. These forms of bleaching are usually very costly also.
Q. How long do I need to wear my bleaching splints?
A. This varies depending on the type of bleach you are supplied with. It can vary from 30 minutes per day up to sleeping with the bleaching splints in place overnight. Sleeping with the bleaching splints in place overnight provides the best & quickest result.
Q. How bright will my teeth become?
A. This is UNPREDICTABLE. Almost everyone will gain some extent of tooth-whitening but genetics determine exactly how bright your teeth will become. Some people will achieve brilliant results, many will achieve very good results & some will achieve only minor improvements. Everyone’s teeth have a limit to their bleaching potential. Once that limit is reached, no matter how much further you bleach your teeth, they will not whiten any further.
Q. How long does it take to brighten my teeth?
A. This is UNPREDICATBLE & is determined by the nature/severity of your staining, how often/well you wear your bleaching splints, what type of bleach you are supplied with & your genetics. On average, most people achieve their desired result within 2-4 weeks. Some people can take up to 2 months. In rare severe cases, teeth can take up to 6-9 months to whiten.
Q. Does it matter if I forget to bleach my teeth for a day or 2?
A. No. You can simply continue on from where you stopped.
Q. What if I have used all the bleach & my teeth have not brightened to the extent I had hoped?
A. You are originally supplied with enough bleach to last you 2 weeks for both arches (or 4 weeks for one arch). If you are not satisfied with your result, contact us & your dentist will re-examine your teeth & discuss the situation. If further bleach is required, we will supply another course of bleach at the reduced fee of $57.
Q. Is bleaching for everyone?
A. No. There are several reasons for this. For example, some people have fillings or crowns/veneers on their front teeth. Crowns/veneers don’t change colour with bleach. It is very important your teeth are examined BEFORE you embark on the bleaching process.
Q. How long will the results last?
A. Again, this is UNPREDICTABLE.Genetics determine how long your final bleaching result lasts. In some cases it can be 1-2 years, in other cases, it can last more than 10 years & sometimes forever. Your teeth will be at their brightest IMMEDIATELY after you have completed your course of bleaching. Over the following 2 weeks, there is a slight colour rebound & after this time, this is what we call your `final result’.
Studies have shown 75% of cases are still at their final bleaching result 18 months after bleaching.
Smoking, wine-drinking etc. do not reduce the bleaching result nor do they reduce the time the bleaching results last for. BUT, such habits do stain your teeth & these stains may appear more pronounced because the underlying teeth are brighter.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. To bleach both arches (top & bottom teeth) costs $480. Some people prefer to bleach just their top teeth. This can be done at a cost of $250.
Q. Does my private health insurance cover such treatment?
A. This varies depending on your health fund & level of cover. To find out if you are entitled to a health-fund rebate & how much, you can simply ask our staff for the item numbers & you can contact your health fund.
Q. Do I need to have a radiograph (x-ray) taken prior to bleaching?
A. Occasionally, radiographs are requiredto ensure your teeth are healthy prior to bleaching. In most cases, an OPG radiograph will be recommended which is bulk-billed at the radiology clinic next door.
Q. Can I re-bleach my teeth in the future?
A. Yes. If at any stage you feel your teeth have darkened from their final bleaching result, it is simple, cheap & quick to `touch-up’ your colour. That’s why it is important you store your bleaching splints in a safe place for future use.
Q. Do whitening toothpastes/gums/rinses that you can buy at chemists & supermarkets actually work?
A. No. There is no clinical evidence to suggest any of these products even slightly brighten your teeth. You are simply wasting your money purchasing such products.
Q. I’ve seen stalls in shopping centres set up claiming they can bleach your teeth for just $99 in one hour. Is this true?
A. No. Your teeth will look brighter immediately upon leaving the stall, but that is simply because your teeth will be dehydrated from the treatment. Within a few days, your teeth re-hydrate & the results are gone. Again, you are simply wasting your money.
Q. I have a single dark front tooth. Can that be bleached alone to match the rest of my teeth?
A. Yes. The process may be a little different but in most cases, a single dark front tooth can be bleached.
Q. Are there any special instructions I need to follow while I’m bleaching my teeth?
A. While wearing your bleaching splints, you cannot eat, drink or smoke. You should NOT wear your bleaching splints within 30 minutes of brushing your teeth & you should NOT brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes after you have removed your bleaching splints (rinse your mouth with tap water instead). There is usually no need to alter your diet while bleaching your teeth.
Q. How do I store my bleach at home & what do I do with any unused bleach?
A. Simply keep the bleaching syringes in a cool, dark, dry place. They do not need to be refrigerated. If you have achieved your desired result, any remaining unopened bleaching syringes can be stored in the fridge & used at a later date provided they are used before their expiry date.
If you have any further questions/concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us and make an appointment with one of our friendly denitst