Calum’s Blog – Professional Tooth Whitening

Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening is the safest, most conservative cosmetic procedure available in modern dentistry. Dentists love the fact that they don’t need to cut the teeth and patients love the great results they can achieve, usually in just a couple of weeks.

Why would I whiten my teeth?

As we age, the internal structure of our teeth gradually changes and their colour darkens naturally. Strongly coloured foods and drinks also cause some internal staining over time. For many patients, some simple whitening will be all they need to improve the appearance of their teeth and give them a great boost of confidence in their smile.

How tooth whitening works

Professional whitening gels open up tiny tubes (tubules) in the teeth, seep into the stained layers and release oxygen. The oxygen breaks the staining molecules apart, returning the teeth to their original colour.

Does it hurt and does it damage the teeth?

Contrary to the popular myth, professional tooth whitening products supplied by a dentist will not erode the enamel. The teeth are not damaged by the process at all. This is one of the reasons we love providing this treatment to our patients!

Around 80% of patients will experience some sensitivity during the whitening process, this is normal and will fade quickly once the treatment is complete.

How white will my teeth get?

It’s up to you. The treatment is done at home by wearing whitening gel inside thin trays over the teeth  each day or overnight. Once you are happy with the shade of your teeth the process is complete and you can save any leftover gel for topping up in the future. The majority of patients will achieve a great result in 2-4 weeks. We will review your teeth at this time to make sure we are all happy with the colour.
General tips for anyone thinking about tooth whitening

  • Get a dental check-up first. It is important that your general dental health is in order before moving on to cosmetic treatments.
  • Your dentist will take impressions and make custom whitening trays which fit snugly over your teeth. High quality trays are crucial to getting a good result.
  • We will show you how to load the gel into the trays. Many patients will try to use far too much gel, this wastes money and won’t speed the process up.
  • Start using a de-sensitising toothpaste a week before you begin whitening. Continue to use this during the treatment and for about a week afterwards.
  • Expect some sensitivity during the process, but remember this will return to normal when you finish whitening.
  • If your teeth are already sensitive don’t worry, you can still do some whitening. By using some specialised products like Tooth Mousse by GC, or Tooth Serum by Enlighten Labs, your sensitivity can be managed very effectively, even during whitening. Your dentist can guide you through this process.


Keep brushing, keep smiling.

Dr Calum Imray

Stafford Street Dental Care

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