Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that aims to remove stains and discolouration from your teeth and make them brighter and more attractive.

Teeth Whitening at Polygems Dental Care

What is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that aims to remove stains and discolouration from your teeth and make them brighter and more attractive. Teeth whitening can improve your smile and boost your confidence and self-esteem.

Teeth whitening can be done in two ways: in-office or at-home. In-office whitening is done by a dentist using professional-grade bleaching agents and light or laser technology. It can whiten your teeth by several shades in one hour. At-home whitening is done by yourself using over-the-counter products, such as whitening strips, trays, gels, or toothpastes. It can whiten your teeth gradually over several weeks.

Why Do You Need Teeth Whitening?

You may need teeth whitening if you have discoloured or stained teeth that affect your appearance and oral health. Some of the common causes of tooth discolouration are:

  • Food and drinks, such as coffee, tea, wine, berries, or sauces
  • Tobacco use, such as smoking or chewing
  • Aging, which causes the enamel to thin and the dentin to darken
  • Medications, such as antibiotics, antihistamines, or blood pressure drugs
  • Trauma or injury to the teeth
  • Dental diseases or treatments, such as decay, fillings, or root canal therapy

Teeth whitening can help you remove these stains and restore the natural colour of your teeth. However, teeth whitening may not work for everyone. Some types of stains, such as those caused by fluorosis or tetracycline, may be resistant to bleaching. Also, teeth whitening may not be suitable for people who have sensitive teeth, gum disease, cavities, or dental restorations.

How is Teeth Whitening Performed?

Teeth whitening is performed by a qualified dentist at Polygems Dental Care. The procedure usually takes about one hour and is done under local anesthesia, which means you will not feel any pain during the treatment. The steps involved in teeth whitening are:

  • The dentist will examine your teeth and take an X-ray to assess the condition and shade of your teeth.
  • The dentist will isolate your teeth with a rubber dam to protect your gums and lips from the bleaching agent.
  • The dentist will apply a gel containing hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide on your teeth. This is the active ingredient that breaks down the stains and lightens the colour of your teeth.
  • The dentist will activate the gel with a special light or laser that enhances its effectiveness and speeds up the process.
  • The dentist will repeat the steps above for two or three cycles until the desired shade is achieved.
  • The dentist will rinse off the gel and remove the rubber dam. They will also apply a desensitising gel or fluoride on your teeth to reduce sensitivity and strengthen your enamel.

What are the Benefits and Risks of Teeth Whitening?

The benefits of teeth whitening are:

  • It removes stains and discolouration from your teeth
  • It brightens your smile and appearance
  • It boosts your confidence and self-esteem

The risks of teeth whitening are:

  • There may be some temporary sensitivity or irritation of your teeth or gums after the treatment
  • There may be some uneven or unnatural results if you have dental restorations that do not match the colour of your natural teeth
  • There may be some damage to your enamel or pulp if you use too high concentration of bleaching agent or too long duration of treatment

How Much Does Teeth Whitening Cost?

The cost of teeth whitening depends on several factors, such as:

  • The type and amount of bleaching agent used
  • The complexity and duration of the procedure
  • The experience and qualifications of the dentist
  • The location and reputation of the dental clinic

Can I Use MediSave Pay for Teeth Whitening?

No, you cannot use MediSave for Teeth Whitening.

Can I Use CHAS subsidies for Teeth Whitening?

No, you cannot at the point of publishing. For updated information, head to www.chas.sg

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about teeth whitening:

Is teeth whitening permanent?

No, teeth whitening is not permanent as your teeth can still get stained or discoloured over time due to your diet, lifestyle, or aging. To maintain your results, you need to avoid or limit the consumption of staining foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, wine, berries, or sauces. You also need to practice good oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleaning. You may also need to do touch-up treatments every six to twelve months.

How can I whiten my teeth naturally at home?

You may be able to whiten your teeth at home naturally using products you can find in the grocery store. However, the science behind these methods is lacking and they may not be as effective or safe as professional teeth whitening. Some of the natural methods that you can try are:

  • Baking soda: You can brush your teeth with baking soda or mix it with hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Baking soda has abrasive properties that can scrub away surface stains and make your teeth appear whiter.
  • Hydrogen peroxide: You can rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide or mix it with baking soda to make a paste. Hydrogen peroxide has bleaching properties that can lighten the colour of your teeth. However, you should use it sparingly and dilute it with water as it can cause irritation or damage to your gums and enamel.
  • Apple cider vinegar: You can use apple cider vinegar as a mouthwash or mix it with baking soda to make a paste. Apple cider vinegar has acidic properties that can dissolve stains and whiten your teeth. However, you should use it cautiously and rinse your mouth thoroughly afterwards as it can erode your enamel and cause sensitivity.
  • Coconut oil: You can swish coconut oil in your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes or rub it on your teeth with a cloth. Coconut oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent plaque and gingivitis and improve your oral health. However, there is no evidence that coconut oil can whiten your teeth.

What are the alternatives to teeth whitening?

If you are not satisfied with the results of teeth whitening or if you have dental restorations that do not match the colour of your natural teeth, you may consider other cosmetic dentistry options, such as:

  • Veneers: These are thin shells of porcelain or composite resin that are bonded to the front surface of your teeth to improve their shape, size, colour, or alignment. They can cover various imperfections, such as chips, cracks, gaps, or stains.
  • Crowns: These are caps that cover the entire visible part of a tooth. They restore the shape, size, colour, and function of a damaged or decayed tooth.
  • Bonding: This is a procedure that involves applying a tooth-coloured resin material to repair a chipped, cracked, or discoloured tooth. The material is hardened with a special light and shaped and polished to match the rest of the tooth.

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