An introduction to teeth whitening – the most popular cosmetic dentistry choice in the world

Teeth whitening is the most frequently requested treatment in the world of cosmetic dentistry. When it’s provided by a qualified dental professional, it’s a safe, effective, and quick way to brighten up your smile without the need for invasive procedures.

Crofts Dental Practice in Essex offer three options for teeth whitening treatment, all of which begin with a cosmetic dentistry consultation.

teeth-whitening-essexA dentist is the most important person in any teeth whitening procedure. The General Dental Council classes whitening treatment as dentistry, and as such it can only be legally prescribed by a dentist. Another suitably trained and qualified dental professional – a hygienist, or a hygiene therapist, for example – can carry out the physical procedure of teeth whitening, but only on a dentist’s prescription.

At our Essex dental practice we are aware that there are numerous products that claim to whiten teeth available on the open market. We also hear of beauty salons offering this treatment. All of these options should be avoided to ensure treatment that is safe, effective, and legal.

Whilst whitening products bought from a supermarket or high street chemist are unlikely to damage your teeth, they are also unlikely to live up to their promises, failing to deliver the results that you want. If you have an underlying problem such as enamel erosion or tooth decay, some products can also cause sensitivity.

Products bought from the internet may be of dubious origin, which means you can’t know for sure that they contain what they say they do, or that levels of the bleaching agent hydrogen peroxide are legal. Beauticians offering the treatment do so illegally; the GDC has carried out many successful prosecutions for illegal dentistry, but all too often someone has to suffer painful damage to their mouth in order for illegal providers to come to light.

Think about it; you wouldn’t accept any other form of cosmetic dentistry from anyone other than a dentist. Teeth whitening must be considered in the same way.

The three options for whitening at our Essex clinic are:

  1. Home whitening, supervised by your dentist
  2. Power whitening, carried out by your dentist
  3. Combination whitening – both of the above combined.