Staining of the teeth can be a result of many factors.

The most common causes of staining are:

  • Smoking
  • Tea / Coffee
  • Red wine
  • Ageing

Whitening is ideal for patients who want a whiter, brighter more confident smile without having the teeth drilled.  After a thorough examination of the teeth and gums - to rule out any dental disease, we are able to begin the whitening process.

What is involved in whitening my teeth?

There are three common types of tooth whitening 1. Take-Home Whitening,  2. In-Chair Whitening and 3. A combination of both In-Chair and Take-Home Whitening.

1. Take-Home Whitening.

This is the current standard for tooth whitening for people who currently suffer from sensitive teeth and do not want it to get any worse.

The whitening process involves two appointments.  At the first appointment we take impressions of your teeth to prepare a custom made whitening stents.   We will record the colour of your existing teeth, this helps us to predict whether your teeth will whiten and if so how white are they likely to end up.  If your teeth need to be professionally cleaned this is best done before whitening is commenced.

The second appointment is scheduled approximately two to seven days after the initial appointment. At the second appointment we may polish your teeth to remove any new surface stain.  This allows a faster and more effective result from the home whitening system.  The custom made whitening splints and home whitening kit are prepared and a detailed explanation of their use is given by your dental health care provider.  Over a 14 day period (on average) the home whitening system is worn for 30 minutes morning and night, or as otherwise advised.

A third appointment is sometimes necessary re-assess the whiteness achieved and plan any further dental work.  Sometimes the whitening must continue over a longer period or a different whitening gel needs to be used to achieve an improved result.  When your teeth start to re-stain in the future (they will always get darker again if the discolouring agents are still being used) you can simply undertake a few more sessions of the home whitening system.  Keep the stents as they can be used for many years.   We have top up gel kits available at a reasonable price. This top-up may need to be done every 6- 12 months.

2. In-Chair Whitening.

This is the current standard for tooth whitening for people who do not suffer from sensitive teeth or are in a hurry (oh, so you are getting married this weekend) and are happy to suffer the potential sensitivity increase.  Also useful if you can't be bothered wearing the whitening stents at home.

In-Chair Whitening is a procedure designed to lighten the colour of your teeth by application of a hydrogen peroxide gel. The In-Chair Whitening treatment involves using the gel to safely produce a maximum whitening result in the shortest possible time. The gel concentration meets the Australian TCA recommendations and guidelines. 

During the procedure the whitening gel will be applied to your teeth for two or three 8-minute sessions, with an optional fourth 8-minute session. During the entire treatment, a plastic retractor may be placed in your mouth to help keep it open and the soft tissues of your mouth (i.e. your lips, gums, cheeks and tongue) will be covered to ensure they are not exposed to the gel. 

Lip balm may also be applied as needed and you will be provided protective eyewear for your eyes. After the treatment is completed, the retractor and all gel and tissue coverings will be removed from your mouth. Before and after the treatment, the shade of your teeth will be assessed and recorded. 

Please understand the application of a LED light is not universally acknowledged to aid the whitening effect long term however it is available at your request to aid in the short term whitening effect by dehydrating the tooth (think of a wet fabric versus a dry fabric) but this will result in an increase in sensitivity.

3. A combination of both In-Chair and Take-Home Whitening.

This is the current standard for tooth whitening for people who do not suffer from sensitive teeth and are motivated to retain the whitening effect.

How is Whitening achieved?

Over a period of time stains will penetrate into the first few layers of the enamel (outer shell) of your teeth. This stain is unable to be removed by brushing or polishing the teeth.  The whitening gel safely penetrates the first few micro-millimeters of enamel and draws the stain out, restoring the tooth enamel to its natural whiteness and brightness.

Will it Work for Me?

The whitening process will allow your teeth to whiten as much as your teeth will naturally allow. In most cases of staining where the discolouration has occurred from external sources (wine / smoking) the whitening process is very successful.   In cases where the staining is from deep inside the tooth the success rate is reduced, unfortunately there is no sure fire way to predict what the whitening result will be.


Tooth sensitivity is the most common problem encountered.  If you have generally sensitive teeth we may need to spread out the whitening into a longer time frame or we can provide de-sensitising agents such as ToothMousse to desensitise between whitening sessions.

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