What is the Difference between Teeth Bleaching and Teeth Whitening?

Teeth bleaching and teeth whitening in London are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but there are subtle differences. Teeth bleaching is used to describe a process where the products used contain carbamide or hydrogen peroxide, known as bleach, for instance the systems offered by our dental surgery use either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. This is where teeth are whitened to several shades lighter than their natural colour.

In comparison teeth whitening products don’t necessarily have to contain any bleaching agents and won’t whiten teeth beyond their natural shade. For example teeth whitening toothpastes may rely on the inclusion of slightly abrasive ingredients designed to remove surface staining. It can be confusing, but as a general rule any teeth whitening services offered by dental surgeries will use products containing hydrogen peroxide, and will lighten teeth beyond their natural colour but are quite likely to be called teeth whitening.

Tooth Whitening Safely and Effectively

If you want to achieve the best results then it really does pay to go to your dentist for teeth whitening in London. This ensures the process is safe and effective, and that you are prescribed the correct bleaching gel to achieve the look you want. The gels do come in several different strengths, and may contain carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, but what is the difference, and how does it work?

Hydrogen peroxide is stronger than carbamide peroxide, so you’ll typically find that the percentages contained are higher in carbamide peroxide gels than in hydrogen peroxide, as hydrogen peroxide is about three times the strength. For instance a gel with 5% hydrogen peroxide will be the same strength as a carbamide peroxide gel with 15% strength. Gels with carbamide peroxide will release hydrogen peroxide once they come into contact with water and tend to be used for home teeth whitening systems, for instance our Perfect Trays home whitening system. Once the hydrogen peroxide has been released it begins to penetrate the tooth enamel which is slightly porous, bleaching out the stains in the enamel and the dentin layer underneath. The use of light or heat helps to accelerate this process.

Hydrogen Peroxide for Faster Tooth Whitening in London

The hydrogen peroxide gels used by our dental surgery is very pure, and the advantage of this is that it will be able to act more quickly on the tooth, so you’ll get faster results. Part of the reason for this is that the gels are water based and have fewer additives enabling them to penetrate the tooth more easily. These are used in conjunction with a thermal diffuser that uses heat energy to help the bleach penetrate the tooth. The advantage of using heat over light is that it is quicker, and can help to lessen tooth sensitivity both during the treatment in our surgery, and afterwards. Another advantage of this diffuser is that it is far less bulky than the traditional bleaching lamps, so the tooth whitening in London is more comfortable.

Carbamide Peroxide Whitening at Home

After your teeth have been safely whitened then we’ll provide you with our Perfect Trays system to use at home. This system uses carbamide peroxide gels, so you’ll notice the strengths look quite high. The reason for providing carbamide gels for use at home is simply because they are a more stable form of peroxide, and are easier and safer for home use. You’ll probably need to use these trays for a couple of weeks or so, for a couple of hours a day. Dr Wyman Chan also gives you advice on touching up your smile.