Case of the week – a hygienist’s perspective on whitening

whitening case of the weekSteven Scannell discusses tooth whitening from a dental hygienist’s perspective and explains why he chooses to use Philips Zoom.

Tooth whitening is an easy, non-invasive way of improving your smile. 

As teeth absorb whitening differently, the length of treatment may vary. This means some patients may need to carry out whitening for longer than others. 

It is difficult to predict exactly what shade of white the teeth will lighten to. However, following the treatment we generally see a more even and lighter shade all round. 

Dental hygienists carrying out tooth whitening need to have completed an appropriate training course. This then allows them to carry out the treatment. 

These courses are available either online or hands on.

A prescription needs to be obtained from a dentist after they have seen the patient and confirmed that their teeth are healthy and it is suitable for them to go ahead with the whitening treatment. 

It is worth bearing in mind that restorations like crowns and fillings won’t change colour. It is important that this is explained to the patients before they start the process to ensure they have realistic expectations of what the treatment should achieve. 

After whitening treatment

Some patients find they get some sensitivity during the home whitening part of the treatment. However, this doesn’t tend to continue for too long after completing whitening. 

I always advise my patients to use a sensitive toothpaste before, during and after the whitening. This helps reduce sensitivity as much as possible. 

I also give my patients an advice sheet on what to do should they get any sensitivity.

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