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Smile Perfections
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Smile Perfections

Smile Perfections Dental & Cosmetic Clinic

  • 34 Harborough Road
  • Leicester
  • LE2 4LA
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Do you have stained teeth that make you feel self-conscious about smiling? Teeth whitening can be a good solution for certain types of tooth staining.

Teeth can be stained by foods, drinks, smoking and certain medications. Teeth whitening is a safe procedure that can lighten the colour of your teeth by using a safe dental bleaching agent. Individual results vary and are based on your initial tooth colour and the nature of your tooth staining.

We deliver two types of teeth whitening:

1. Power Whitening

Here your teeth are whitened in the dental chair. A protective barrier is placed on your gums and lips, and a gel is placed on your teeth. A lamp is positioned over the teeth and this activates the bleaching process. After one hour you can expect your teeth to look a few shades brighter and it is a popular choice with many patients who have an important event coming up where they want to look their best.

2. Home Whitening

Here we custom-make a lightweight plastic mouth tray for you that fits snugly over your teeth. You then put a whitening gel inside the tray and wear it at night or for a few hours during the day. Results are normally seen over 2 weeks and your teeth will also appear whiter and brighter.


TEETH WHITENING LEICESTER – Frequently Asked Questions

What is teeth whitening?

Teeth Whitening Overview

Teeth whitening, also known as tooth bleaching, is a cosmetic dental procedure that aims to brighten and enhance the natural shade of your teeth. It involves the use of special bleaching agents or whitening products that help remove stains and discolouration from the tooth enamel, revealing a brighter, whiter smile.

Types of Teeth Whitening

Professional In-Chair Whitening:

This method is performed by a dentist or dental professional in a clinical setting. It typically involves the application of a highly concentrated bleaching gel or solution to the teeth, often combined with a specialized light or laser to accelerate the whitening process.

Take-Home Whitening Kits:

These kits, prescribed by your dentist, contain custom-made trays and a lower concentration of bleaching gel that you can apply to your teeth at home, following specific instructions provided by the dental professional.

Causes of Tooth Discolouration

Teeth can become discoloured or stained due to various factors, including:

Aging, consumption of certain foods and beverages (e.g., coffee, tea, red wine), tobacco use, certain medications, excessive fluoride exposure during tooth development, tooth trauma or injury.

Teeth whitening treatments can effectively address these types of extrinsic (surface) stains and intrinsic (deep within the tooth) discolouration, resulting in a brighter, more radiant smile.

It’s important to note that teeth whitening is a safe and effective cosmetic procedure when performed under the supervision of a qualified dental professional, following proper protocols and precautions. Regular touch-ups may be required to maintain the desired level of whiteness over time.

How does teeth whitening work?

Teeth whitening works by using chemical agents, primarily hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, to break down and dissolve the stains and discolouration that have accumulated on and within your tooth enamel over time. The whitening process occurs through an oxidation reaction:

Whitening Methods

For in-chair whitening:

A highly concentrated bleaching gel containing hydrogen peroxide is applied directly to your teeth. Some procedures may also use a special light or laser to accelerate and enhance the whitening process.

For at-home whitening kits:

You’ll receive custom-made trays and a lower concentration of carbamide peroxide gel. As you wear the trays filled with the whitening gel, the peroxide is released and penetrates the tooth enamel to lift stains.

The whitening agents target both extrinsic (surface) stains caused by foods, drinks, and smoking, as well as intrinsic (deep) discolouration that occurs due to aging, trauma, or medications. As the oxidation process breaks down these compounds, your teeth appear brighter and whiter.

Is teeth whitening safe?

When performed under the supervision of a qualified dental professional and following proper protocols, teeth whitening is generally considered a safe cosmetic procedure. However, there are a few potential risks and side effects to be aware of:

Possible Side Effects

Tooth Sensitivity:

Some individuals may experience temporary tooth sensitivity or mild gum irritation during or after the whitening process. This is usually temporary and resolves within a few days.

Enamel Damage:

Overuse or improper application of whitening products, especially those with high concentrations of bleaching agents, can potentially damage your tooth enamel over time.

Gum Irritation:

Improper application of whitening gels or solutions can lead to gum irritation or chemical burns if the product comes into contact with the gum tissue.

To ensure safety, it’s crucial to follow your dentist’s instructions carefully, use only professional-grade whitening products approved for use in the UK, and attend regular check-ups to monitor the condition of your teeth and gums.

How long does teeth whitening last?

The longevity of your whitening results can vary depending on several factors, but typically, the effects of professional teeth whitening can last anywhere from six months to two years or more. The duration of your bright, white smile will depend on:

Factors Affecting Longevity

Your Lifestyle and Dietary Habits:

Consuming stain-causing foods and beverages like coffee, tea, red wine, or smoking can cause your teeth to become discoloured again more quickly.

Oral Hygiene:

Proper brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings can help maintain your whitening results for longer.

Age and Enamel Condition:

As you age, your tooth enamel may become thinner, making it more susceptible to discolouration.

To prolong the effects of your teeth whitening treatment, your dentist may recommend touch-up treatments every 6 to 12 months, depending on your individual needs and preferences.

How many shades whiter can my teeth get?

The degree of whitening achievable can vary significantly from person to person, depending on several factors:

Factors Affecting Whitening Results

Existing Tooth Shade:

Those with heavily stained or discoloured teeth may see more dramatic results, potentially lightening their teeth by 6-8 shades or more.

Type of Discolouration:

Extrinsic (surface) stains tend to be easier to remove than intrinsic (deep) discolouration caused by factors like aging or medication.

Whitening Method:

Professional in-chair whitening treatments typically provide more immediate and significant results compared to at-home kits.

On average, most individuals can expect their teeth to become 2-4 shades whiter after a single professional whitening treatment. However, it’s essential to have realistic expectations and discuss your desired outcome with your dentist, who can provide a more accurate estimate based on your specific circumstances.

Will teeth whitening work on crowns, veneers, or fillings?

Teeth whitening treatments are generally effective only on natural tooth enamel. Any dental restorations or artificial materials, such as crowns, veneers, or fillings, will not respond to the bleaching agents used in whitening procedures. This means that:

Impact on Dental Restorations

Crowns and Veneers:

These restorations are made of materials like porcelain or composite resin, which are resistant to whitening agents and will not change colour during the whitening process.


While tooth-coloured (composite) fillings may initially appear to whiten slightly, they will not maintain the same shade as your newly whitened natural teeth over time.

If you have existing restorations, your dentist may recommend whitening your natural teeth first and then replacing any mismatched crowns, veneers, or fillings to achieve a consistent, brighter smile.

Can teeth whitening damage my enamel?

When performed correctly and under the guidance of a qualified dental professional, teeth whitening procedures are generally safe and should not cause permanent damage to your tooth enamel. However, there are a few potential risks to be aware of:

Potential Risks

Overuse or Misuse:

Excessive or improper use of whitening products, especially those with high concentrations of bleaching agents, can potentially erode or weaken your enamel over time.

Existing Enamel Defects:

If you already have thin or damaged enamel, the whitening process may exacerbate these issues and cause further enamel loss.

To prevent enamel damage, it’s crucial to follow your dentist’s instructions carefully, use only professional-grade whitening products approved for use in the UK, and attend regular check-ups to monitor the condition of your teeth and enamel.

Is teeth whitening painful or uncomfortable?

For most individuals, professional teeth whitening procedures are generally not painful. However, some temporary discomfort or sensitivity is common during and immediately after the treatment. This can include:

Possible Discomfort

Tooth Sensitivity:

You may experience mild to moderate sensitivity or a temporary zingy sensation, particularly when consuming hot or cold foods and drinks. This is usually temporary and subsides within a few days.

Gum Irritation:

If the whitening gel comes into contact with your gum tissue, it can cause mild irritation or discomfort, which should resolve quickly.

Any significant pain or prolonged discomfort is not normal and should be reported to your dentist immediately. They may recommend using desensitizing products or adjusting the whitening treatment to ensure your comfort.

How long does the teeth whitening process take?

The duration of the teeth whitening process can vary depending on the method used and the desired level of whitening. In general, you can expect the following timelines:

In-Chair Teeth Whitening

This is the fastest option, typically taking around 30-60 minutes for a single appointment.

Your dentist will apply a powerful whitening gel to your teeth and use a special light or laser to accelerate the bleaching process. Results are usually visible immediately after the treatment, with your teeth appearing several shades whiter.

Take-Home Whitening Kits

These kits involve wearing custom-made trays filled with a lower concentration of whitening gel for a specific duration each day, usually 30 minutes to an hour.

The full treatment typically takes 2-4 weeks, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions and your desired level of whitening. Gradual whitening occurs over this period as you continue to use the trays and gel daily.

Whitening Strips or Pens

Over-the-counter whitening strips or pens contain lower concentrations of whitening agents and are designed for convenient, daily use.

The process can take several weeks or even months to achieve noticeable results, as you need to consistently apply the strips or gel according to the instructions. These methods are generally less effective than professional treatments but can help maintain or enhance the whitening effects over time.

It’s important to note that the longevity of the whitening results can vary depending on your lifestyle habits, such as consuming staining foods and beverages, smoking, or maintaining proper oral hygiene. Regular touch-ups or touch-up treatments may be necessary to maintain your desired level of whiteness.

What is the difference between in-chair and at-home teeth whitening?

The main difference between in-chair and at-home teeth whitening lies in the concentration of the bleaching agents used, the application method, and the level of professional oversight. Here’s a breakdown:

In-Chair Whitening

Performed by a dentist or trained professional in a clinical setting

Uses highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide gels (typically 25-40%)

May utilize special lights or lasers to accelerate the whitening process

Provides immediate, dramatic results in a single appointment

More expensive but offers professional supervision and customization

At-Home Whitening

Involves using lower concentration carbamide peroxide gels (usually 10-22%)

Custom-fitted trays are worn for a specified time each day over several weeks

Gradual whitening process, more affordable but slower results

Requires strict adherence to dentist’s instructions for safe and effective use

In-office whitening provides faster, more dramatic results, while at-home kits offer a more gradual, convenient approach. Your dentist can help determine the best option based on your desired outcome, budget, and lifestyle.

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