The Truth about Teeth Whitening
10 years ago or so a little known procedure called ‘dental bleaching’ came over here from the US where it was already in regular usage. (Of course).
Basically, carbamide peroxide (or sometimes hydrogen peroxide) in a gel form was squirted into plastic ‘trays’ which were then fitted over the patient’s teeth and worn over night. After a few nights previously yellow/stained teeth would begin to look noticeably whiter, it really worked!
Brilliant! The incidence of wall to wall veneers dropped through the floor overnight. Dental bleaching was safer (for the teeth) less invasive and a fraction of the cost of dental veneers.
An unbeatable product surely?
Perhaps not. Two things challenged the superiority of this simple, cheap and effective treatment.
- Firstly (American) patients decided that they couldn’t wait a few days for the result, they wanted it instantly!
- Secondly big corporates got a wind of this and realised that if they could persuade both the public and the dentists that bleaching could be done in under an hour they would get rich (and the dentists wouldn’t do so badly either).
‘Power bleaching’ aka ‘Laser bleaching’ was born…and well publicised companies like ‘Britesmile’, and ‘Zoom’ were suddenly offering better results than with the humble bleaching tray in under an hour. These companies spent millions on advertising to dentists and the public.
Dentists spent thousands on high-power bleaching lamps and lasers sold by these companies, and using the companies ‘own brand’ power whitening gel coupled with an impressive looking light source, they got on with ‘the business’ of bleaching.
The only problem is that it doesn’t work.
I’ll say that again: the only problem is it doesn’t work…..ok, well it works a bit, but the results from these products are consistently worse than from –you guessed it- those old take-home bleaching trays! What’s more, the old way of doing it keeps the teeth whiter for longer.
Now call me an old cynic but power whitening is regular repeat income: it costs twice as much and lasts half as long – so patients are forced to keep coming back and have it done again! Which is why many of my peers at the Aesthetic Academy (www.BAAD.org.uk) have gone back to the old tray system (or a combination approach).
As for the fancy lights and lasers? Dr Linda Greenwall –one of the UK’s leading bleaching experts – has often said that there is no evidence that these lights accelerate the bleach’s own effects, but that their main use is to “add flair” to the procedure…
To my mind it’s logical: 35% bleach for 45 mins can’t possibly bleach as deeply or as effectively as 15% bleach for 50 hours (overnight for 7-10 days)….what’s more the stronger bleach causes more sensitivity and some of these lights and lasers can overheat the teeth (www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v199/n1/full/4812555a.html) which is bad.
Hang on a minute (I hear you say) don’t you offer Power-whitening at your clinic? Yes I do. We offer it to those in a hurry ‘Doc, I’m getting married tomorrow’ because it does make a difference when time is of the essence – but we always take impressions to have trays made so that the patient can top up/finish the job at their leisure with the tray-system.
I know they will need to.
Why not come and talk through your options? We don’t charge. At your consultation, we will spend about half an hour talking to you about your dental problems and what solutions are available to you. We will also look at your mouth to help us to see what the issues are with our own eyes.
Don’t worry. We will not be poking and prodding you, or taking moulds, or bombarding you with xrays and sales-talk.
The best thing about the consultation is that you get to meet us face to face and have a real conversation about what you wish to achieve – and where relevant – what has stopped you from coming before now.
By the end of the consultation, you will
- Have a reasonable idea of whether you are suitable for the treatment that interests you – over 95% of patients are
- Have a very good idea of what your financial investment would be
- Know that we are very easy to talk to, won’t patronise or put pressure on you, and that we appreciate that many of our patients are very nervous about our profession
- Know whether we can work within your time-frame ie many patients come because they have a specific event which they want to smile at like a family wedding, holiday etc
If you are happy to proceed with the next step (there is never any pressure to do this) then we will book your next appointment
We set out to be a friendly practice and try to provide everybody with what’s right for them, at an affordable cost. We hope our dentist reviews give that impression.
To book a free consultation, please complete the form below to email us, and we will mail or call you back. Alternatively, call us first for a quick chat.
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Teeth Whitening Price List
The following costs for Teeth Whitening are correct when written, but they can change. We will provide written pricing for each ‘cosmetic treatment’ as part of our free consultation. You don’t have to be a member to have treatment at Winning Smiles.
|Member Pricing From
|Airflow Stain Removal - All Teeth
|OPG (Large Panoramic X-ray)
|New Patient Examination + two x-rays
|Full Case Assessment - Implants
What they say about us
Andrew was absolutely amazing
I went to Andrew Fennell with many problems
Crowns needing replacing
And needing many implants
Straight away I was put on a step by step plan of action
Teeth whitening for readiness of implants and new crowns
Andrew was absolutely amazing all way through procedures
And I’m glad to say that my work was completed after a long journey and I’m delighted
I can smile and laugh again instead of hiding my teeth
He is Fantastic
And so are all staff
So friendly and kind
Tuesday I went back to Andrew for a check and I ended up having a wisdom tooth out there and then so I wouldn’t encounter a further problem
Thank you Andrew
Thoroughly recommend this dentist
I now have a winning smile
After breaking my front lateral incisor, from eating some crusty bread, I visited my own dentist, who suggested a consultation with a private dentist who specialised in the provision of implants.
Winning Smiles were recommended to me and I arranged for a consultation with Dr. Andrew Fennell. Andrew was very professional and advised me of the procedure for an implant, including the costs. I found Andrew and all his staff to be very friendly, helpful and Covid secure on every visit throughout the procedure. I am very pleased with the result and true to say I now have a Winning Smile.