I have always wanted ‘whiter’ teeth and over the years have tried the usual methods……..whitening toothpaste and most recently some of the whitening strips. But I’m also not very patient and lose interest quickly. The strips had to stay on for about half hour – each time, so for another half hour or so – total, I could get better results……so really a no-brainer.
Plus my dentist, Vincent Wan, from First Dental Studio (www.teethfirst.com.au), told me about their current offer for the in-chair treatment – same price as the take-home treatment……my 50th birthday gift to myself, thank you very much.
I am very happy with the results, so thought I’d share what was involved (note that my appointment was 3pm and it was an 1.5 hour booking, so you understand some of my timing points) –
What was involved –
- Before – I was given a very clear explanation about what the equipment was, what the whole process was, any possible side effects, such as sensitivity during the first 24 hours. The ‘Informed Consent for In-Chair Teeth Whitening Treatment’ form was thoroughly explained, I signed it and away we went.
- I had a choice of DVD to watch on the ceiling as I laid back for the treatment.
- My teeth colour was measured and I was around ‘mid range’.
- A pumice was used on my teeth to slightly roughen them, which was to allow the peroxide to seep into my teeth better.
- Plastic cheek retractor was fitted – this was to keep my mouth open and keep my tongue away from teeth. This was pushed up onto my gums and that smarted a bit, and mouth is stretched but I didn’t really have any issues.
- Then gauze was pushed down into my mouth against my cheeks, plus some rolled up long pieces in various places.
- A barrier was then applied all along my gums, which was set firm with a light – similar to steps involved when having a filling.
- Two layers of barrier was also placed around my mouth area to shield me from the lamp.
- A hydrogen peroxide mixture was applied to my exposed teeth.
- The lamp was then pushed against my mouth area and turned on for 15 minutes. My setting remained at ‘Medium’ level however could have been altered if I had reactions or too much ‘zinging’.
- At the 12 minute mark the lamp beeped once, then several beeps again at 15 minutes.
- The peroxide mixture was then suctioned off my teeth and I could move my neck around a bit.
- More mixture was applied again and another 15 minutes set on the machine.
- After the second 15 minutes the mixture was again suctioned off and new mixture applied for a final 15 minutes.
- After the third 15 minute session, again the mixture was removed, then all of the gauze, then the hardened barrier and finally the cheek retractor.
- I could then have a good rinse and spit.
- My teeth colour was again checked for change.
NB: I was regularly asked if all okay by Vincent, and I was able to either nod, grunt, give a thumbs up, or if an issue I was to wave my left hand.
My concerns/issues –
- I was anxious about being able to swallow while laying down for so long, but I could. I did get a tickle in the throat at one stage so had to keep calm and just try to swallow without making it worse. Keeping calm and just watching the TV worked for me.
- Also, I think I was meant to try and keep my tongue down, but when swallowing I know it hit against the cheek retractor, so I had a small amount of bitter taste when swallowing.
- I only had one ‘zing’ during the treatment which luckily was about a minute from the very end. The ‘zing’ is like when biting into an ice block etc, and having that sensitivity. It soon goes but does give a jolt.
- First few hours after the treatment I had a few ‘zings’. They eased up to only the very occasional one by the evening and the following morning. In total I probably only had 7/8 ‘zings’. All of my ‘zings’ were along my bottom teeth as that is where I have gum recession and always have tartar build up.
- Zoom provides two ‘take home’ items, being –
- Relief Oral Care Gel – I applied this to my gums where I had the ‘zings’ – seemed to work a treat.
- Vitamin E Soothing Oil – this is a small brush to apply the oil to my tongue, cheeks or throat if I have any irritation from the peroxide, which I haven’t.
- The three meals after treatment, so dinner, breakfast and lunch all had to be discussed, to ensure I wasn’t going to ruin the results, as supposedly the 24 hours after treatment your teeth do still have some peroxide working on them. So no ‘dark colour’ type foods, no beetroot, no tomato, no curry, no tea for me, nor Pepsi-Max.
- My teeth had certainly whitened a few shades and I was now ‘above average’ however I have realised that on one of my eye teeth I must have some filling material on the outside as that has not whitened.
- The improvement certainly shows up better with lipstick on.
- At the 24 hour post treatment mark all sensitivity has gone, and I have eaten normally……so very happy.
Apparently, the whitening normally lasts for around two years, obviously depending on diet etc. But I go to the dentist each six months so we can keep track of the teeth colour.
Thanks Vincent for improving my smile.
NB: I paid for my treatment, didn’t even get any health fund benefit back as near the end of my financial year, so have written this just to share my experience.