Teeth whitening is a very common cosmetic procedure that is suitable for many dental patients looking to improve the aesthetics of their smile. There are both physical and chemical means that can help to whiten your teeth. In Singapore, patients can opt for in-office teeth whitening treatment or a take-home teeth whitening kit, available for purchase at the dentist.
There are many things that can cause our teeth to become discoloured, dull and yellowed. These factors include:
There are two types of teeth stains: External stains and internal stains.
External stains are generally caused by lifestyle choices such as our diet, smoking and oral hygiene.
These stains generally cause our teeth to become yellow and discoloured. However, it is important to go for a proper dental checkup to ensure that there are no outstanding dental issues such as cavities or gum related diseases that can affect the health of your teeth. Make sure that these issues are sorted out so that you’re properly prepped for teeth whitening.
Internal stains are usually caused by a variety of factors that generally happen during childhood that cause tooth discolouration. These factors can affect the development of your adult teeth and they may cause your teeth to become darkened in a brownish or bluish hue. These factors can include:
Note: certain toothpastes that are purported to have “whitening” effects can in fact have an adverse effect on your teeth as they contain certain abrasive ingredients that might end up damaging your enamel and exposing the dentin beneath, which has a more yellowish hue than enamel, which is naturally white. As a result, you may end up staining your teeth instead.
Teeth whitening in Singapore works around either one of two chemical agents: carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide.
Teeth whitening kits will use a solution of one of these agents in order to penetrate the enamel of the tooth. Teeth whitening in Singapore can either be done through chairside office teeth whitening by a dentist or done at home at your own time with a take-home teeth whitening kit. Either way, both utilise carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide gel.
In Singapore, chairside teeth whitening is conducted at the dental studio itself by the dentist and usually takes around 30-45 minutes.
These are highly effective treatments that can provide long term results as in-house treatments possess a far higher concentration of chemicals used when compared to take-home whitening kits. Chairside teeth whitening treatment in Singapore generally contain anywhere between 15% to 43% peroxide. Usually, either UV or blue lights are used in conjunction with treatment at the dentist. By combining UV light with teeth whitening treatment, results have been proven to significantly lighten the teeth far more than simply using the peroxide gel alone.
Chairside teeth whitening is a great option for individuals in Singapore with busy schedules who do not want the hassle of having to perform the teeth whitening treatment by themselves.
Take-home teeth whitening kits can be purchased from dental clinics in Singapore. A teeth whitening kit generally contains a higher amount of hydrogen peroxide as compared to over the counter whitening kits and can only be issued if you have a prescription and directions of use from a dentist in Singapore. Take-home teeth whitening treatment kits generally contain anywhere from between 5% to 18% peroxide.
Take-home whitening kits come with custom sized bleaching trays that can make a custom mold in order to coat your teeth with a special gel to cause the whitening effect. In general, they are more expensive than the kits that can be found over-the-counter (OTC) in Singapore.
Be sure to wear these bleaching kits for at least 40 to 60 minutes every day for at least 14 days in order to achieve optimal results. This is because the amount of hydrogen/carbamide peroxide in a take-home teeth whitening kit is much less than those that are used in chairside whitening kits.
This usually depends on the condition of the patient’s teeth before they do the teeth whitening procedure. If the outer layer of the enamel is very thick, this will likely mean that teeth whitening won’t be a painful experience. Patients who have a thinner layer of enamel will have a chance of feeling some slight discomfort as their teeth will be more sensitive. The teeth whitening effect will also be less pronounced for patients with less whitening effect.
Hydrogen peroxide is what's used for dental teeth whitening treatment. It is a chemical compound that breaks down into water and oxygen radicals. These radicals then effectively break through enamel and dentine, oxidant and breaking down large stained molecules into smaller colourless molecules, making the teeth appear whiter.
Teeth whitening at the dentist office costs from $900, while the cost for a teeth whitening kit costs from $400. The final cost will depend on the extent of your teeth discolouration, as this will set the tone for how many teeth whitening treatments you need.