Tooth Whitening and Bleaching

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Tooth whitening; safe and effective?


Custom trays for at home bleaching is the best value, best results, and best for reduced sensitivity.

The little light is mostly a gimmick and does not influence quality of bleaching or reduce sensitivity.

Once you have trays, you can reuse them year after year. They are the major cost and so the next year, your costs are minimal.

It is commonly reported by unregistered, non dentally trained bleaching providers that dentists charge a lot for bleaching and that it is unaffordable.

This is a marketing technique used to make you not enquire at your local dentist.

Standard tooth bleaching with custom trays is normally $299. 

Currently we are running special options for bleaching and cleaning together see our main bleaching deal page here.

There is a lot of poor and in some cases, false information being put out into the community in regard to tooth bleaching. In New Zealand Tooth Bleaching is poorly regulated compared to other developed countries.

We would like to shed some light on the real scientific basics of tooth whitening, and how to protect yourself, and your teeth from the potentially dangerous marketing that is encouraging tooth whitening without dental checkup or clean first.


What is Tooth Whitening and Bleaching?

Bleaching is chemical whitening of teeth via one of a number of peroxide based formulations.
These are chemicals that if used correctly can be safe; but if used incorrectly are dangerous to the health of teeth and gums.

The most immediate effect of tooth bleach on teeth is dehydration.

That is what most people see with before and after photos taken shortly after bleaching.
They look white, because dehydrated teeth change shade to a whiter colour.
This change is short lived and will end up with the shade changing back as the tooth rehydrates.
It is why testimonials with before and after should be taken with a grain of salt in bleaching cases.

The main risks for healthy teeth of tooth whitening is sensitivity, which is usually temporary, but can be severe pain. The most common areas for sensitivity are the lateral incisor teeth and sometimes canines.
There is also risk of gum damage from the bleaching trays being ill fitted. (This is a risk with non custom made trays). Bleach on the gums can burn them.

In teeth with active holes or leaking fillings, the side effects would be far greater and potentially there is some studies relatively to nerve damage from bleaching.




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From meta review scientific evidence, we now know.

Light activation offers no benefits for the amount of whitening achieved, or avoidance of tooth sensitivity. (It is a gimmick that makes people feel value added). 

Custom mouth guard based home bleaching systems result in significantly less sensitivity than in-chair office based systems. (and usually are less expensive).

Teeth with restorations or exposed root surface result in a significantly higher chance of post operative sensivity and pain after tooth whitening. (therefore we need to check for this prior to bleaching).

Home based systems with custom trays have decreased sensitivity, and have better results than in office applied systems.
(Custom trays worn at night).

Why custom trays made for you?


As explained above, custom trays with bleach worn at night at home are the most effective, and least sensitive method for bleaching teeth safely.

The other major advantage which is hugely important value wise is that these trays belong to you.
In the future, once you have these trays, the only cost the next year or for top ups is some sticks of bleaching material.
Professional high quality sticks of dental bleach are usually available for under 20 dollars each.
Long term your costs will be far less than in house methods, or gimmicky and ineffecient boil and fit type home mouthguards.

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So is Tooth Whitening right for you?


It is hard to know this without meeting our patients.

Often once we do a full examination and clean our patients already notice a huge improvement in appearance of teeth without any bleaching necessary.
We do a rather extreme clean with a baking soda spray and scaling with ultrasonic scalers.

If bleaching is attempted without cleaning first, the stains and the hard deposits on teeth will influence bleaching outcome negatively.
You should always have a professional clean before bleaching, no matter what system is used.

Our dentist will use this time to discuss bleaching in depth with you, and check that it is safe and likely to be effective for your goals.

Ring us on 03 3374596 or get in contact here for more information on how our Dental Surgeons can help with whitening your smile.