Frequently Asked Questions on Teeth Whitening

Frequently Asked Questions

As a person ages, our teeth often become darker due to changes in the mineral structure of the tooth (the enamel becomes less porous).

Teeth also become stained by bacterial pigments, foodstuffs and tobacco. Certain antibiotic medications can also cause teeth stains or a reduction in the ‘brilliance’ or whiteness of the enamel.

Teeth whitening occurs when Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) is exposed to the dentine of a tooth (found directly under the enamel).

When Hydrogen Peroxide penetrates through the enamel, pigmentation found in the dentine tube oxidizes, rendering a white finish, which is reflected through the translucent enamel.

There are no risks associated with using our whitening products as the procedure is conducted by a Dentist or Oral Hygienist. It is advisable not to get your teeth whitened by anyone who is not a certified Dental Practitioner as permanent damage can be caused by improper application and inferior products.

  • How white will my teeth go at the end of the treatment?

    Teeth Whitening

    Before & After

If you think back to when you were a child, you probably had shiny white teeth.  As we get older, our teeth become more stained due to diet, ageing and other factors.  The process of whitening is to clear these stains that have developed over the years and to restore them to their former glory.  Our goal is to give you the whitest smile procedurally possible.

Coupled with an optional maintenance kit, rest assured that you will achieve the brightest, whitest smile possible.

  • How soon will I see results?

Immediately. And it will continue whitening for another 12 hours.

  • Is the treatment painful?

Very few people experience any sensitivity.  It is a common misconception that teeth whitening is painful and one we are very proud, and adamant, to put to bed.

For some it is normal to feel very slight sensitivity after teeth whitening and most experience none whatsoever.

Our gels contain built-in desensitizers which help to prevent any possible sensitivity.  Your dental professional will also apply post treatment agents to prevent sensitivity.

If you have sensitive teeth, please advise your dentist and they will manage it accordingly, but rest assured, you will be comfortable throughout the treatment.

  • Is the process harmful to teeth/safe?

The effect on teeth is no different to the effect from commonly ingested foods or regular dental procedures. Studies have shown that orange juice is more damaging to enamel than teeth whitening. Numerous scientific studies have been conducted in this regard.

Hydrogen Peroxide used for teeth whitening has over 100 years of history.  Dentists have been performing this treatment for decades.  It is extremely safe and dentists are trained professionals.

  • Will crowns, veneers or false teeth whiten?

The teeth whitening process will only remove intrinsic staining from natural teeth. However, the gel will help remove all extrinsic staining from teeth, including false teeth. This means that your false teeth will be ‘cleaned’ back to their original colour.

If you are planning to have a crown, bridge, filling or false tooth, it is recommended that you first have your teeth whitened. Your dentist will then be able to match the shade of the false tooth, crown or cap to your new colour.

  • If I am planning crowns, bridges or other dental work?

It is strongly advised that you have your teeth whitened prior to having any dental work performed.  It is important to get your teeth as light as possible to make sure your new dental work matches your lighter teeth.

  • You mention the word ‘gel’ quite frequently – what does this mean?

Hydrogen Peroxide (H202) is the active ingredient used to whiten teeth.  Naturally this substance is liquid.  To be able to use it for teeth whitening it has to be more viscous to adhere to the teeth.

  • Do many people whiten their teeth?

Yes, more than you would imagine. A bright, sparkling smile can make a very big difference to a person’s confidence and self esteem. Studies have shown that people with whiter teeth smile more readily and tend to make more eye contact whilst engaged in conversation.  Whether in business or pleasure, we interact with people every day and it important to be at your best.  A confident smile can make the world of difference.  It is amazing how you will notice people seeing something different, but not being able to put their finger on it.

  • How long does the treatment take?

Treatment takes one hour including same day consultation.

The effects of teeth whitening can last for up to 24 months, but also vary depending on your lifestyle. Factors that decrease whitening include smoking and the ingestion of dark colored liquids like coffee, tea and red wine. However, as we provide an optional maintenance kit, your teeth will remain brilliantly white for as long as you wish.

  • Because I smoke, drink coffee or wine; is there any point to whitening my teeth?

Dietary and tobacco related stains give excellent results when whitened. You can continue with your normal lifestyle, but it is advised that you purchase a custom maintenance kit ensuring your smile stays white for ever.

  • How long do the results last?

Generally, gradual fading will start taking place after about 2 years. Your diet plays a big role. We recommend the optional maintenance kit to maintain your smile as long as you wish.

  • What is gum guard whitening / take home kit / maintenance kit?

A gum guard is an excellent method of whitening and is extremely effective.  The only problem is that it takes a long time.  An hour in a dentist’s chair would take you approximately 8-10 hours to achieve using at home whitening. This is a very tedious process and one which most people do not complete.

When coupled with a dentists whitening, the results are dramatic.  This is why we include it as an extra option.  It is also important to have it custom moulded to your teeth to ensure you don’t have any gum sensitivity from gel leaking.  This is a problem with generic trays.  Our success depends on your results.  Word of mouth is our most important marketing tool.

  • Are there any people who cannot have their teeth whitened?

Pregnant or women breastfeeding are not advised to have their teeth whitened.  Children under 16 years are also not advised to have their teeth whitened.

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4 Responses to Frequently Asked Questions on Teeth Whitening

  1. Dr Emil says:

    Please book an appointment to make an assessment before bleaching. Tel 012 653 4119

  2. Dr Emil says:

    We don’t have any evidence that bleaching your teeth will pose a significant risk to you or your baby. But we don’t have enough data to say it’s safe, either.
    The peroxide used in bleaching causes an oxidative process, and we know that oxidation can be harmful to tissues and cells. But we don’t know whether that can affect either you or your baby.

  3. Pingback: Bright Smiles in Centurion | Dentist Emil Jansen

  4. Immelda says:

    How often can you repeat the procedure?

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