In-house/In-surgery Tooth Whitening

In-house or in-surgery tooth whitening is as the name says: this is treatment carried out in a dental clinic rather than at home.

The benefits of this include a noticeable improvement to your teeth in a short space of time. In fact, many patients report quite dramatic results.

This procedure is carried out in a single session and is as follows:

  • The dentist will record the current state of your teeth either by taking a digital photograph (‘before’) or via a tooth shade chart.
  • He or she will cover your gums with a protective gel or cotton material to protect them from any splashes of bleach. You will be given goggles to wear to protect your eyes from the laser beam or bleach.

Some clinics have special DVD goggles in which you can watch a film whilst undergoing treatment.

  • Your dentist will then apply a whitening gel to your teeth. This gel contains a high concentration of peroxide which helps to bleach the teeth white.
  • He or she will then use a small handheld light or laser which emits a beam onto your teeth and so stimulates the bleaching process. This has the effect of speeding the process up. This process can take up to an hour.
  • Once this is done the dentist will wash off the whitening gel before reviewing the final result. This involves taking a photograph (‘after’) or viewing the result against the tooth shade chart.

This costs more than a home tooth whitening kit but it is quicker and the results are immediate. Some patients opt to have a home kit combined with a deep bleaching session at a dental clinic.

One difference between this and a home kit is that the bleaching agent used is much stronger. An in-house whitening gel contains a higher level of peroxide concentrate than the home based ones. As a result of this, tooth whitening is something which should be carried out under dental supervision.

In-house tooth whitening uses hydrogen peroxide whereas a home tooth whitening kit will use carbamide peroxide.

Can I buy a home tooth whitening kit online?

There have been cases, reported in the media, where people have bought home tooth whitening kits on the Internet which contain a high level of peroxide. The problem with these is that unless properly supervised, the peroxide compound can burn the lips and gums. For this reason we advise you to use a home tooth whitening kit which has been recommended by a cosmetic dentist.

Is there more than one procedure?

The in-house method can take forms: laser whitening or light assisted whitening.

Laser teeth whitening

Your dentist will apply a whitening gel (bleaching compound) to your teeth before using a small handheld laser to activate the bleaching process. The small but powerful laser enables the gel to break through the enamel and so whiten the teeth.

The advantage of this is that it can speed things up and give you a nice white smile in an hour.

Light assisted teeth whitening

This follows the same procedure as above but the one difference is that the dentist will use a light source to activate the whitening gel.

There are three procedures which use a light beam which are marketed as follows:

  • Enlighten teeth whitening
  • Zoom teeth whitening
  • BriteSmile teeth whitening

Find out more by visiting these in turn.

Teeth Whitening Guide Index:

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