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Mercury-free dentistry and tooth coloured restorations

Dental amalgam contributes on a small scale to environmental mercury pollution but has been used as a safe, durable, stable and cost-effective dental material for over 150 years and continues to be used on back teeth within the NHS.

Worldwide environmental concerns over mercury led the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) to draw up The Minamata Convention on Mercury, in Kumamoto, Japan, which was formally signed by the UK in October 2013, together with many countries and followed by many more globally.

 

 

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General dentistry

Teeth whitening

 

Teeth Whitening is the process of making your teeth ‘whiter’ by removing discolouration and deep staining.

Teeth whitening by a dentist is a safe and effective way of brightening your smile and simultaneously boost your self-esteem and confidence.

 

What are the advantages of the Loughton Dental Spa System over the other methods available today?

Our dentists have undergone extensive training in this procedure, having kept up to date with advancements in this field and being aware of current legislation.

Collectively, we have been whitening teeth successfully and safely for over 25 years.

Our dentists will only advocate materials and methods which they know produce good results, safely and with maximum longevity of the results.

 

How will I know how I will look?

During consultation the dentist will go over what you can personally expect for your individual situation. The dentist will use the popular Vita shade guide to allow you to see the 'before' and projected 'after' colour of your teeth for comparison.

We normally recommend extending the whitening effect to include all the teeth that may be wholly or partly visible when smiling widely or laughing.

 

What if I haven't seen my dentist recently?

For the most effective whitening, with the least chance of discomfort, you should have seen your dentist for a check-up and had a teeth cleaning session within the last year.

 

Which systems do we use?

We use Philips Zoom Day White and Nite White, both contain a mineral rebuilding complex ACP-amorphous calcium phosphate, potassium nitrate to greatly reduce sensitivity and fluoride to strengthen your enamel with improved whitening.

Philips Zoom whitening gels also lead to a greater surface smoothness of the enamel, giving teeth a lustrous, glossy sheen.

We also offer Enlighten Evolution Whitening which is a combined in–surgery and at home whitening system and is the only system that guarantees a B1 shade.

This system has been given excellent ratings widely in the press.

Our dentists will guide you further after discussing your expectations and after thorough assessment.

 

Is this procedure for everyone?

Virtually everyone wanting to lighten his or her teeth can benefit from using the systems we offer, including people with pronounced dietary staining and even those with discolouration from antibiotic usage.

The time taken to complete the whitening process satisfactorily will vary as some peoples teeth are more likely to attain a good shade change within a certain time frame than others.

The dental examination by the dentist will determine if you are a good candidate for whitening at the time of your consultation.

 

How much whiter my teeth will be? Will all my teeth including my crowns and bridges veneers / implants / dentures whiten?

Ultimately, the goal will be to achieve your optimum, natural whiteness.

Some shades are more amenable to whitening than others and your dentist will advise you further at your tooth whitening consultation.

Teeth whitening will only work on natural teeth, therefore, if you have any of the above, we will advise on the best course of action.

 

How long does the whitening last?

The long-term results depend primarily on the individual. Certain habits, such as the use of tobacco products, drinking a lot of coffee, tea or red wine, and not having regular dental check-ups, can work against the results. Regular professional care and use of recommended tooth care products can help maintain your natural whiteness for up to 3 years or more.

 

How does 'Tooth Whitening' work?

The active ingredient in the products we use are hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, at the optimum concentrations for safe and legal teeth whitening.

As the active ingredient is broken down, oxygen permeates through the dental tissue breaking down stains and brightening the teeth which may have commonly darkened due to aging, coffee, tea, red wine or tobacco staining.

 

What happens if my teeth do not whiten?

Any existing fillings will not change colour and denture teeth will also not lighten.

If the teeth have white spots on them before the procedure, these spots will appear whiter during the first few days, however the contrast between the spots and the rest of the tooth will be less and eventually they will not be noticeable. Often these pre-existing white spots are not actually noticeable until the whitening process commences.

Some teeth may appear banded with lighter/whiter areas. As before, these bands would already have been present but as the teeth lighten the bands become more obvious as the lighter parts of the tooth lighten first followed by the darker areas. After a week or so these are no longer noticeable.

Teeth which have discoloured due to amalgam fillings will not lighten with teeth whitening and as the adjacent teeth lighten the affected teeth may appear darker in comparison.

 

Is Tooth Whitening safe?

Teeth whitening is only legal when carried out by a registered dental professional.

Some people may find that their teeth become sensitive to cold during and after treatment, and / or have mild, gum irritation after treatment. However we will advise you on how to simply minimise the chances of these short-term effects.

Tooth whitening materials used at Loughton Dental Spa actually have an indirect positive effect on the gums by improving the health of inflamed gums and helping them heal. This is, in fact, how the technique was invented as it was first used to heal gum irritation during orthodontic treatment.

We only use products made by reputable companies that have been safely and effectively used for many years, without any damage to the tooth structure or to the gums.

 

Is it safe if I am pregnant?

There is no evidence that whitening poses any particular risk to your baby, however, as this is a cosmetic procedure we recommend that whitening procedures are carried out after giving birth and preferably once you have finished nursing/expressing. Anyone that has had their teeth whitened but was unaware they were pregnant should not be concerned.

 

How do I keep my teeth white?

After your initial treatment, your whitening trays can be used at home, after a recommended period  to maintain their whiteness. Whitening toothpastes are effective at removing or minimising the build up of surface stains, so may help the effect to last.

You can help to keep your teeth white by cutting down the amount of potentially staining food and drink that you have, eg tomato sauces, curries, tea, coffee, red wine and coloured drinks.

As well as other health benefits, stopping smoking can also help prevent discolouration and staining.

FAQs

This globally legally-binding treaty will regulate and reduce all man-made sources of mercury, including dental amalgam, the use of which will be gradually phased down.

At Loughton Dental Spa, we can offer minimally invasive restorative techniques that conserve tooth structure, reducing the need for dental amalgam in most clinical situations.

A Composite filling is a more natural looking alternative to an amalgam filling as it is tooth–coloured, hence blends into the mouth.

In many situations composite can be used to build up the edges of chipped or worn teeth.

With advancements in tooth-coloured filling materials and ceramic restorations we can provide you with long-lasting cosmetically-pleasing alternatives to silver-coloured fillings, using only the highest quality materials known to have excellent clinical success rates and durability.

If you have opted for NHS treatment, but after being shown the cavity you change your mind and feel that you would rather have a tooth-coloured filling, please do not hesitate to inform us and we will discuss treatment options and any associated fees with you.

We will provide you with a treatment estimate so that the treatment proposed and fees are clearly set out.