NEWS LETTER

STONELEIGH NEWS

TOOTH WHITENING - THE FACTS

We have received a high level of interest in tooth whitening procedures (also known as tooth bleaching). The 3 techniques generally uses a custom-made mouthguard, which contains a peroxide-containing whitening gel.The whiening process is either overnight, in the evening or in the dental surgery (60 minutes) with Zoom 2.

Prior to its introduction into the dental literature in 1989, this technique has been used in patient care since 1968 with no significant detrimental effects on teeth, gums, restoration or systematically i.e. in the body as a whole.

We would advise, however, to stop smoking during the course of treatment. Groups not acceptable for bleaching treatments generally include expectant or nursing mothers or children.

Two side effects which we have noted are -

* Some teeth become sensitive to temperature changes during treatment. However, sensitive teeth return to normal when treatment is completed, with no long-term effects noted (7 year recalls).

* Some patients may experience irritation by the peroxide solution in a portion of their gums. This may be due to a need to adjust the mouthguard. Chemical irritation resolves within one to four days without cessation of treatment.

SUCCESS

Human clinical studies have shown 9 out of 10 patients have a successful outcome. Not all patients respond at the same time. This depends on the original reason for discolouration of the teeth. Older persons' teeth, coffee-stained and smokers' teeth respond well to tooth whitening.

TREATMENT PROGRAMME

The initial appointment with your dentist will include an examination, taking of medical and dental history to determine the cause of discolouration (ageing, medicine-induced, smoking, diet) as well as prognosis of the treatment.

This examination may require x-rays of the upper front teeth to check for the absence of disease. Discussions of your expectations, habits and any further matters will take place prior to the impressions to construct the mouthguard being taken.

Fifty percent of patients remain stable for seven years, while some patients may need a short 'top-up' after the first treatment. This varies according to the individual.

Generally, tooth whitening is a simple, safe, non-invasive, cost-effect technique to whiten teeth in a short period of time, in your own home or at The Practice.
What could be a nicer way to smile through the new year?

HYGIENIST

Your visit to see Angel Hope, our hygienist, is crucial in the prevention and treatment of gingivitis (gum disease). There are appointments available to book on Wednesday evenings for those of you who just can't get out of the office!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

MOUTH RINSES - ARE THEY USEFUL?

Mouth rises contain ingredients that make them taste good and help to alleviate the smell of bad breath. They also contain a number of antibacterial agents that affect the growth and activities of bacteria living in the dental plaque and on the tongue.

The bacteria on the tongue are believed to the responsible in the most part for bad breath. The bacteria on the teeth - the dental plaque - are responsible for tooth decay and for gum disease.

The various antibacterial agents included in mouth rinses are not equally effective on controlling the bacteria on the mouth. The most effective is chlorhexidine (in Corsodyl) but if you use if for too long it can cause unacceptable staining of the teeth (although this staining can be removed by the hygienist).

Dental plaque grows rapidly. Everyone knows how in the morning you can feel the plaque on your teeth and tongue as the bacteria in your mouth have grown while you were asleep. Mouth rinses are not very good at removing plaque. The most efficient way is to use fluoride toothpaste twice a day and to clean your teeth in the correct manner. Once the teeth have been cleaned, a mouth rinse may have an effect on the rate of growth of the dental plaque.

Mouth rinses are good things. But if you do not clean your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, then mouth rinses are not going to protect you against developing tooth decay.

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