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.

Free Consultation

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.

Dental Plan£21.85/month
Treatment TypeMember Pricing From
Routine Examination£77
Small x-rays£25
Airflow Stain Removal - All Teeth£40
OPG (Large Panoramic X-ray)£109
New Patient Examination + two x-rays£140
Full Case Assessment - Implants£179
CT Scan£189
Whitening£349

What they say about us

Happy to Smile Again

Happy to Smile Again

I would like to thank Andrew and his team for my new smile. My teeth had deteriorated over the years and I came to a point in my life where that was having an impact on my life. I was recommended Winning Smiles by my own dentist. After an initial consultation and then a more in depth inspection and scan, I was told by Andrew that he could help by doing three implants and three additional teeth as an implant bridge. The first appointment was in January this year and I got my new smile in May, at each stage Andrew explained to me exactly what would happen and how long each stage would take, I was made to feel relaxed and comfortable on every visit. I would highly recommend Winning Smiles to anyone thinking about embarking on any treatment.

Lois – Curing Dentist Phobia

I began my dentistry treatment with Andrew and his team back in September. Every time I visit the surgery I am more and more amazed! I have had five teeth extracted and have never felt any pain! Amazing! I am now preparing for implant surgery and I never thought I’d say this about dentistry treatment but I actually can’t wait.

Andrew and his team are fantastic, they are all very friendly and I am always impressed that they remember my name.

Andrew has cured my fear of dentists and made it possible for me to smile with confidence at my wedding. Thank you!