Years of red wine abuse, smoking, tea and coffee certainly take their toll on the colour of your teeth. It was after meeting with a friend who had recently had her teeth whitened I realised I could have a brighter smile for what I class as quite a reasonable investment in terms of time and money. I had previously tried whitening toothpastes and all the other formulas sold in chemists, however nothing was giving me the result I wanted. The founder of WeAreTheCity pointed me towards City of London Dentists based in Liverpool Street who offer WATC members a discounted rate for whitening & treatment.
The booking-in procedure at Advanced Dental was extremely professional. They seem to appreciate that as City workers it’s quite common for us to miss the odd appointment, therefore the emailed reminders were a value add. The surroundings at Advanced Detail are extremely spacious and modern, not at all like your traditional dental surgery. I met with Sam Pugh, a fabulous and exceptionally knowledgeable dental specialist who ran me through the various options. She talked about the shade improvements I should expect and checked the general health of my teeth to ensure I was suitable for the procedure.
Sam explained there were two options available. A home whitening kit which a combination of a 14 night home whitening kit and then around 90 minute in-chair whitening – the special offer price for WATC members is £600 (normally £750). Sam explained this gives a better long term result as the whitening can be topped up every three months at your own leisure using the whitening tray and buying top up whitening gels. With the home whitening kit you receive what look like gum shields. Once a day you place the gel into the gum shields and these open the pores in your teeth over a two week period. When you go back for the in-chair treatment your teeth react much better as the pores have been opened by the treatment you have administered at home. I might add this is completely painless process. The second option (for those of us who want to see a result within the hour) was the Zoom system. A 1 hour session in chair involving 20 mins prep, followed by 2 concurrent 15 minute sessions in the chair with a laser. Being City Guinea, time poor and someone who generally wants everything now, I chose the Zoom option. The dentist warned me that the results of the home whitening kit tend to last a little longer, but she assured me I would be very pleased with the result I got from the Zoom. She did warn me to expect a little sensitivity after the procedure had completed.
I turned up on the day slightly nervous, but all my fears were allayed by Sam and her team.
I turned up on the day slightly nervous, but all my fears were allayed by Sam and her team. The Zoom system requires quite a lot of prep by the dentist. Firstly they conduct a shade analysis to analyse the existing shades of your teeth so they can compare the result after the treatment. Thereafter they start the Isolation prep. The isolation prep ensures that every area of pink around your teeth are covered, this covers both lips, gum line and cheeks. The prep takes around 25 mins and involves protecting your lips with a protective cream, placing a retractor in your mouth (to hold your tongue slightly back and to keep your mouth open), although this sounds uncomfortable it actually isn’t, it is just a little time consuming, especially for someone who has issues keeping still. The dentist then covers all the soft tissue in your mouth using gauze to protect your cheeks and lips, ensuring you are completely covered. The final part of the prep is to place a liquid dam (Liquidam) around your gum line to protect your gums. The team are extremely conscious that no pink is showing prior to the Laser part of the treatment. Be patient with this part of the process as it’s for your own protection.
Once you are prepped, the dentist covers your teeth with de-sensitising gel, they then apply the next layer of gel that whitens your teeth. To activate the Gel they place the small laser across your mouth for 15 minutes (you have to wear light protecting shades to protect your eyes during the laser part of the process). It is fair to say you don’t look your most attractive at this point, with a mouthful of gauze, your mouth strapped open and protective goggles, you kind of resemble something out of a horror movie – however, we all know beauty tends to either involve a little pain (e.g waxing) or time spent looking like a complete idiot for a hour or so.
Once the first 15 minutes has expired, they jet wash the gel off your teeth and repeat the process again. It worth noting that this process is completely painless. You may feel the heat of the laser on your teeth but it tends to be warm as opposed to hot. Once the 2nd 15 minutes treatment has completed, they jet wash your teeth again and start to remove the gauze and retractor that has kept your mouth open, In terms of time, this took approximately 1 hour. They then show you your new whiter than white shiny teeth and the shade improvements against the guide they took of your teeth before the process started.
The after care service at Advanced Dental is second to none. You receive detailed instructions covering the do’s and don’ts, a de-sensitising gel should you experience any sensitivity, plus an oil to apply should you experience any soreness around your gum line. They even call you the next day to ensure you were happy with the procedure. I had no soreness whatsoever, however I did
experience a little sensitivity.
Things worthwhile noting
The prep takes time, but as mentioned, be patient as it is for your own good. You cant eat or drink anything for 24 hours that may stain your teeth (E.g Tea, Red, Red Wine, Curry etc). Remember at this point your teeth are still porous and will absorb colour faster than normal.
You may experience sensitivity in certain teeth. This is not a nice sensation at all and feels slightly like a small electric shock in your mouth. My experience of this was in 2 teeth and was caused by a receding gum line.
This process isn’t for everyone, if you have very sensitive teeth your after effects may be more uncomfortable than mine, everyone’s teeth react differently, however the technicians will talk to you at length about possible side effects beforehand.
I cannot emphasise enough how pleased I am with the result. I honestly did not realise how dingy my teeth actually were until after I had the treatment. The procedure itself was painless, if not a little bit of a rigmarole in terms of prep. As mentioned earlier, I did get sensitivity issues till the next day after the procedure, but it wasn’t pain I couldn’t deal with. The gel provided in the aftercare pack greatly relieved the sensation of sensitivity as did a couple of nurofen.
Tooth Whitening – Summary
Would I recommend it?
Absolutely, I have confidence in my smile again and my teeth are lovely and white. For a relatively small investment in terms of time I left Devonshire Square Dental Studios very pleased both in terms of the result and the whole process.
How much did it cost?
The normal cost for Whitening is £500.00, which is quite reasonable even if you shop around, I had previously had quotes of up to £850.00. However, because of the deal we have negotiated with Devonshire Square Dental Studio. WATC members receive a 20% discount taking this to an even more reasonable price of £400.00.
How long does it last?
Like everything it has a life span. The dentist told me it is purely dependent on my teeth but on average around 3 months.