Teeth Whitening

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Teeth Whitening Service in Singapore

Teeth whitening is a dental procedure that helps reduce stains and improve teeth’ appearance. Due to its cosmetic results, this has become a widely sought-after dental service in Singapore. At the same time, teeth whitening at the dentist is not just about improving appearances but also about managing dental health and teeth integrity.

Understanding Teeth Discolouration

Teeth discolouration is a common dental concern, and it is important to understand its various causes. While genetics can play a role in determining the natural colour of your teeth, several external factors can also contribute to changes in their appearance:

Dietary Choices

Dietary choices are a significant factor in tooth discolouration. Regular consumption of teeth-staining substances like coffee, tea, and red wine can lead to external stains. These substances contain pigments that adhere to the enamel, the protective outer layer of teeth, which may cause noticeable discolouration.

Tobacco Use

The use of tobacco products, including smoking or chewing tobacco, introduces tar and nicotine to the teeth. These substances may cause stubborn stains on the enamel, contributing to a darker and often uneven colouration.

Certain Medications and Treatments

Certain medications and medical treatments can also impact teeth colour. For instance, specific antibiotics, if taken during early childhood, can affect their tooth colour. Similarly, cancer treatments like chemotherapy, especially those targeting the head and neck, can alter the hue of dental enamel.

Fluoride Exposure

Excessive exposure to fluoride, either from dental products or certain water supplies, can also lead to a teeth discolouration condition known as fluorosis. It is characterised by white spots or streaks on the teeth, indicating an over-consumption of fluoride.

Enamel Porosity

The natural porosity of tooth enamel is another factor that can impact tooth colour. The teeth’s enamel has tiny pores in it that can trap staining agents, leading to a yellowish or brownish discolouration over time. 

Why Consider Professional Teeth Whitening?

When considering teeth whitening, a professional method may be more helpful than at-home whitening kits. This is because at-home options often follow a generalised approach, potentially leading to uneven results and missed spots. In contrast, professional dental whitening can provide custom-fitted solutions, ensuring a higher likelihood of uniform coverage and effectiveness.

Another critical factor is safety. Over-the-counter kits may cause gum irritation or tooth sensitivity due to prolonged use of lower-concentration agents; a professional approach may use higher-concentration bleaching agents under expert supervision, potentially helping minimise risks while maximising comfort.

Efficiency is also a key consideration. Professional methods may yield quicker and more visible results, often in a single session. Additionally, the dentists may tailor the procedure to individual oral health needs, considering factors like existing dental work, which at-home kits cannot accommodate.

How is Teeth Whitening Done?

There are two methods that dental professionals employ to help brighten the teeth: vital whitening and non-vital whitening. Each method is recommended based on the unique conditions of the teeth, ensuring suitability.

Vital Whitening

Vital whitening is recommended for teeth that have an active nerve supply. The process, lasting about 30 to 60 minutes, may involve the dentist applying a potent whitening gel, typically containing hydrogen peroxide, directly to the teeth.

This is followed by a special laser that activates the gel, which helps to accelerate the bleaching process. Depending on the degree of staining, some patients may require two to three sessions to achieve their desired results.

Non-Vital Whitening

On the other hand, non-vital whitening is recommended for teeth that do not have a live nerve supply, especially those that have undergone a root canal treatment

Unlike vital whitening, non-vital whitening helps to brighten the tooth from the inside. The dentist may place the whitening gel in the tooth and leave it for a few days. While non-vital whitening may not be as effective as vital whitening, it is recommended for certain types of teeth to achieve an overall uniform appearance.

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

It’s essential for patients to understand that teeth whitening is not a permanent solution. Generally, teeth whitening results can last between six to 12 months. However, this duration may differ from person to person.

At the same time, the lifespan of the whitening effect depends on how well you take care of your teeth post-treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing, play a crucial role in maintaining the appearance.

Certain lifestyle habits, like smoking and the frequent consumption of teeth-staining beverages such as coffee and tea, can cause the teeth to stain more quickly after whitening. Avoiding or minimising these habits can help prolong the results.

The dentist may also recommend periodic whitening treatments to maintain the appearance of your teeth. However, the frequency of these touch-ups depends on your specific needs and the initial level of discolouration.

Potential Side Effects of Teeth Whitening and How to Manage Them

Teeth whitening, while helpful in improving your smile, may sometimes lead to temporary side effects. The following are some of the side effects and how to help manage them:

  • Tooth Sensitivity: Increased tooth sensitivity may occur when the whitening agent reacts with the teeth’s dentin layer. To manage this, use toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth and avoid extremely hot or cold foods and beverages for a few days post-treatment.
  • Gum Irritation: Some patients might experience mild gum irritation. This can happen when the whitening gel comes into contact with the gums. If irritation occurs, it usually subsides within a few days. Rinsing with a saltwater solution can help soothe irritated gums.
  • Post-Treatment Care: To reduce the likelihood of side effects and enhance the treatment’s effectiveness, avoiding foods and drinks that can stain the teeth for at least 24 hours after whitening is advisable. This includes coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco products.
  • Follow-Up Appointments: Regular follow-up appointments are crucial. They allow the dentist to monitor your progress and address any concerns you might have after the teeth whitening session.

It’s important to remember that these side effects are temporary and may subside within a few days.

Cost of Professional Teeth Whitening in Singapore

Understanding the cost of professional teeth whitening is crucial for patients considering this dental service. The cost may vary depending on each patient’s specific needs and the whitening method chosen. It also depends on the type of whitening agent and dental instruments used.

While at-home whitening kits might appear more cost-effective initially, they provide a different level of effectiveness than professional teeth whitening. Additionally, the lack of professional supervision with at-home kits may lead to improper use, potentially causing unwanted side effects.

It’s important to note that dental treatments like teeth whitening are usually not covered by standard dental insurance or subsidies in Singapore. However, patients are encouraged to check with their insurance providers as some may offer partial coverage under specific plans.

Frequently Asked Questions on Dental Teeth Whitening

The effects of teeth whitening can typically last from six to 12 months, though this varies depending on individual lifestyle choices and oral hygiene practices. Regular consumption of staining substances like coffee, tea, and tobacco, and inadequate oral care may shorten this duration. Periodic dental whitening treatments are recommended to maintain the whiteness.
Teeth whitening does not cause permanent sensitivity. Some individuals may experience temporary sensitivity during or shortly after the treatment, but this usually subsides within a few days. Using toothpaste for sensitive teeth and avoiding extreme temperature foods can help alleviate this discomfort.
Teeth whitening does not change the colour of crowns, veneers, or fillings. It only works on natural tooth enamel, so any dental restorations will remain their original colour. It is essential to consult a dentist for the desired aesthetic result.
As it involves the use of potent whitening agents and customised treatments, teeth whitening is more helpful and safe when conducted under the supervision of dental professionals. On the contrary, at-home kits are less potent and may lead to uneven results or potential gum and tooth sensitivity if used improperly.
It is advisable to maintain good oral hygiene post-whitening by regularly brushing and flossing. Avoid foods and beverages that stain teeth, such as coffee, tea, and red wine, especially immediately after the treatment. Regular dental check-ups and follow-up whitening treatments can also help maintain the results.

Learn About Teeth Whitening in Singapore

Looking to whiten your teeth and improve their appearance? You may seek advice from our dental clinic in Jurong to learn more about the procedure.

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