There are many different ways in which you can whiten your teeth with the main decision to be made is whether or not to buy over the counter tooth whitening products or opt for the more expensive professional tooth whitening as offered by cosmetic dentists.
If you choose over the counter you save yourself lots of money but obviously your choice is more limited with certain restrictions being placed on home based tooth whitening products.
There are many arguments for and against the benefits of whitening your teeth in the comfort of your own home but the one option that is obviously not available anywhere other than through your cosmetic dentist is internal bleaching.
Apart from the many different tooth whitening products currently available your dentist also has the option to go for either external or internal teeth whitening.
External tooth whitening (or bleaching) involves a bleaching gel being place on the surface of your teeth with some products utilising a laser light such as zoom tooth whitening and other laser teeth whitening products. It is said that the laser light speeds up the whitening process as well as increasing the effectiveness of the whitening gel.
The more effective home based tooth whitening systems tend to involve you wearing a mouth guard (this option is also available through your dentist) for 1/2hr – 1hr per day or some suggest over night with your teeth being gradually whitened over a period of time.
Internal bleaching is only an option for tooth whitening if you have had the nerve removed from you tooth. In order to bleach you tooth from the inside your dentist will need to drill a hole in your tooth and insert the bleaching agent inside the tooth. The bleach is then left inside your tooth for a period of time (generally a week or so) before being removed and the hole filled. Internal bleaching is not always effective first time so the process may have to be repeated.
The method of tooth whitening that your dentist will choose to adopt will largely depend on why your teeth have become discoloured, how bad the discolouration is, whether or not you have any prosthetic teeth and what condition your teeth are in. For certain people it is not advisable to use teeth whitening products (such as during pregnancy or when your teeth are in poor condition). Therefore the general advice from the dental profession is that you should always consult your dentist before whitening your teeth