How Does In Chair Teeth Whitening Work?

Teeth whitening is a long established dental practice, and it continues to be one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures around. The reasons for its popularity are obvious.  White teeth give off an impression of health, youth, glamour and hygiene. On the other hand, yellowed and brown teeth can often give an impression of poor health and lack of hygiene.

All of these are of course ridiculous—white teeth aren’t actually a sure sign of good dental health—but that doesn’t change the fact that everyone wants white teeth. All of the movie stars, models and high profile people have beaming smiles so why shouldn’t you enjoy one?

Well, with in-chair teeth whitening it is possible to gain a whiter smile. But how exactly does in-chair teeth whitening work?

The Method

There are a variety of teeth whitening methods but the most effective and widely used form is known as light accelerated whitening. This type of whitening works chiefly through the combination of hydrogen peroxide and laser light. The hydrogen peroxide is applied in the form of a gel and the laser light is then applied to excite the molecules, which bleach the teeth.

The combination of the light and peroxide means that the whole process moves a lot faster than other at-home procedures, which require the hydrogen peroxide to be applied to the teeth for a long period of time.

The beauty of this method is that it only requires one appointment and the results are visible right away.

In-Chair and At-Home

In-chair and at-home teeth whitening methods use the same technology, except that the at-home methods don’t use a light source. As such, the whitening process takes a lot longer when using the at-home methods. The at-home procedures are less expensive than in-chair procedures but for those with severe discolouration the in-chair procedure will provide far quicker results.

How Effective Is It?

Teeth whitening is a tried and tested option for lightening teeth colour. However, its effectiveness varies from person to person. For those that have suffered severe dental trauma or decay, the teeth may be so damaged that bleaching them won’t change the colour. In this case, veneers may be a better option.

Can Everyone Have Their Teeth Whitened?

Teeth whitening is a completely safe procedure, however as with most medical and dental procedures there are some underlying conditions, which may preclude some patients. Some of these conditions include:

  • Acid erosion
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Hydrogen peroxide sensitivity
  • Tooth decay
  • Anyone younger than 16
  • People with visible fillings, veneers and crowns

Possible Side Effects of Teeth Whitening

All treatments and procedures carry possible side effects. When it comes to teeth whitening, side effects are incredibly rare and rarely serious but it’s worth talking to your dentist if you’re worried about any of the following:

  • Mucous Membrane Irritation: Hydrogen peroxide can potentially irritate the tissue in the mouth and gums. This most commonly occurs during at-home treatment as the bleaching agent leaks out and comes into contact with the tissue.
  • Hypersensitivity: This is the most common side effect of teeth whitening and it typically stops soon after treatment. If it doesn’t your dentist can provide you with treatment options that are very effective.
  • Spots: This is more of an aesthetic issue than a medical issue but it is quite normal for the colour to be uneven soon after treatment. The colour will usually even out but it is important you avoid food and beverages that stain your teeth to prevent uneven colouring.
  • Damage to Enamel: Some over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments can affect tooth enamel. This is usually caused by whiteners containing fruit acids and abrasives such as baking soda. In-chair treatments only use hydrogen peroxide so damage to enamel is not usually a problem with this type of treatment.

In-chair treatment is a relatively simple procedure that offers great results. Just keep in mind that the procedure is entirely aesthetic—it won’t improve your overall health or wellbeing, and it won’t improve your dental hygiene or make your teeth healthier.

If you’d like to advantage of our in-chair teeth whitening procedure, then simply contact Dr Olstein’s surgery to find out more.

To Our Valued Patients

Dr George Olstein takes the health of his patients and employees very seriously. Due to COVID-19, we understand there is a lot of anxiety and uncertainty regarding the situation at the moment. We are being consistently updated from the Australian Dental Association and DHHS in Victoria with regards to any changes in practice from a health and hygiene perspective.

Dr George Olstein is monitoring the Coronavirus situation closely and are listening carefully to the questions and concerns we receive from our patients.

We would like to reassure our people, patients and the broader community that Dr George Olstein has always had, do and will continue to have exceptional clinical standards. We are highly commended for our robust policies and procedures, particularly around infection control including hand Hygiene.

The recent events associated with Coronavirus have seen Dr George Olstein develop an additional comprehensive policy specifically considering the virus, which has been adopted by all our team.

This includes but not limited to;

  • Avoid handshaking, hugging and kissing.
  • Please use the provided antimicrobial hand rub before entering the clinic and before leaving the clinic.
  • Please be aware that we will be conducting regular disinfection of the surfaces at the reception, waiting areas, water station, washroom and the entry doors.
  • Similarly, we are also working closely with our business partners to guarantee the continued supply of masks, gloves and other infection control items.

We consider you part of the Dr George Olstein family and your safety, together with that of our team’s, remains our highest priority.

We look forward to welcoming you on your next visit and will continue to update you on any further developments.

If you have any further questions, please contact us –

Best regards,
Dr George Olstein