Tooth Whitening

Are you looking for a brighter, whiter smile? The answer may be a tooth whitening treatment. We have over 20 years experience of tooth whitening and currently offer both in surgery and at home ‘tray whitening’ both using the Zoom! system.

Tooth whitening is a simple, safe and predictable way to literally make you smile. We have been whitening teeth for over twenty years and we have experience of many of the whitening systems available.

As tooth whitening has become so popular in recent years, many unsafe and unproven products became available over the counter, online or at non dental ‘whitening studios’. Legislation passed in October 2012 has meant that now only dental professionals can supply whitening products with up to 6% hydrogen peroxide.

At Bath Spa Dentistry we use the Zoom! Whitening system which is the world leader in both professional and at home systems using a 6% hydrogen formulation.

We can advise you which process (either in surgery or at home whitening) may be the most appropriate for you, as both have different advantages.

The Zoom! in practice whitening system

The Zoom! whitening system safe, effective and very fast.

In just over an hour your teeth will be dramatically whiter. Zoom! whitening is ideal for anyone looking for immediate results, which makes it the perfect choice for the busy individual.

The Zoom! whitening procedure is simple and painless. It begins with a short preparation to isolate the lips and gums, we then apply the gel solution to the teeth, which is activated by a light specific to the Zoom! system.

Teeth typically become six to ten shades whiter, sometimes more, and in most cases the teeth become whiter the first few days after the procedure.

The Zoom! light activated gel was developed after years of research and is a scientifically formulated, pH balanced hydrogen peroxide at 6% that, when activated by the Zoom! light, gently penetrates the teeth to remove deep stains and discolouration.

At home whitening system

This also uses the 6% hydrogen peroxide gel as with in practice Zoom!.

The difference here is that the gel is applied at home for one hour or two half hour sessions a day at your convenience.

We first take moulds of your teeth and have whitening trays made which fit snugly into your mouth. The gel is inserted into the trays in very small amounts and the trays then placed into your mouth, as simple as that. The trays are NOT worn over night.

At home whitening takes longer to work, typically between 2-4 weeks to produce the results that the in practice Zoom! takes, but the results in the end are just as dramatic and it is all done in your own time.

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Which one is for me?

All whitening systems with hydrogen peroxide 6% work, the light activation of the Zoom! light hastens up the process and therefore is ideal for those who are busy and want a quick, almost instant, result.

However, the at home system produces a longer lasting result as the gels are in contact with the teeth for a prolonged period of up to four weeks so naturally a more “stable” result is achieved.

The vast majority of our clients opt for a combination approach wherby we use Zoom! in house to get the initial dramatic lift and then use the at home system afterwards. This is the best of both worlds and means that a top up in the future is possible with a simple application of the at home gel!

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use an over the counter system?

There are problems with whitening kits that are purchased over-the-counter or by mail order. Whilst inexpensive, they normally contain a very acidic rinse that can severely damage teeth and gums. We would advise that they are risky and a waste of money. Like any medical intervention that involves part of your body, it is safest when a health professional supervises the treatment.

Finally since October 2012, products containing or releasing more than 0.1% and up to 6% hydrogen peroxide (or other compounds or mixtures that release hydrogen peroxide) must be only be supplied by dental professionals.

Why Zoom!?

Zoom! is the most widely used and documented whitening agent in the world and is supplied by Philips. The new whitening gel contains a 6% H202 formulation which is combined with a pH booster and like all Zoom! products, also contains Amorphous Calcium Phosphate (ACP), which reduces sensitivity, protects enamel and helps improve the lustre of the teeth, whilst added fluoride helps to reduce tooth decay.

Can everybody have the treatment?

In general almost everybody can have the treatment, but the results can vary. There are a small number of people for whom it is advised treatment is not immediate. These include pregnant and lactating women (although there are no known adverse reactions) and patients with pre-existing sensitivity (this should be addressed before commencing whitening treatments.

How long does it last??

Whitening is incredibly stable and results last for up to three years. However most of our patients who have opted for the at home or combination treatment simply top up using the trays once every six months or once a year. If you have had the in practice Zoom! procedure this lasts much longer.

Will the treatment improve the colour of my teeth?

Your teeth will appear brighter and whiter. This is a prerequisite for a healthier, youthful and attractive smile. The improvement is usually several shades lighter.

It should be noted that if you are a smoker or consume large amounts of black coffee, tea or red wine or curries these stains may not be removed and will build up after treatment. It is advisable to see the hygienist prior to treatment to remove intrinsic stains. Also it is best to stop smoking and the consummation of stain creating foods/drinks while undergoing treatment and keep them to a minimum after if you wish to maintain the benefits.

Will the treatment have any effect on my discoloured white filling or my crown?

No. The whitening only affects natural tooth substance so crowns and fillings remain the same colour. The fillings and crowns can be restored to the lighter shade of the teeth after treatment without any problems. Normally we will wait a few weeks after the completion of whitening before replacing fillings and crowns.

What happens if the teeth do not whiten evenly?

If the teeth have white spots on them before bleaching, these spots will appear whiter initially. After further whitening these white spots become less noticeable.

Are there any side effects?

The only side effects of tooth whitening can be sensitivity. This however is much less common with new 6% formulation and the ACP in the product. Any sensitivity only lasts as long as the whitening process itself.