Ever since having my braces removed last year, I have wanted to get my teeth whitened. There are, of course, many ways to whiten teeth from using high powered electric toothbrushes, various whitening toothpastes, home whitening solutions and services provided in chair at the dental surgery. In all my research one thing was absolutely clear, teeth whitening is a dental procedure and must be carried out by a registered dental professional.

The options for professional whitening are extensive, there are different products available all claiming great results and making a selection was quite difficult. Cost is another factor, teeth whitening is quite expensive so making the right choice was very important to me. After much research I settled on the Philips Zoom whitening system and elected for both the in-practice whitening and the take home trays. This product is offered at many different dental practices and the price seems to vary a fair amount from around £400 to £700. Swayed by a special offer at a well respected cosmetic dental practice close to my office, I decided I had waited long enough and booked myself in.

In the days before attending, I researched as much as I could and came across a wide range of reviews. One of the reoccurring themes was increased tooth sensitivity following whitening with some reviewers describing the associated pain in quite graphic terms! This was something I was concerned about but as it turned out, need not have worried at all as I felt absolutely no pain or discomfort throughout the procedure and in the days after.

On the morning of the whitening I attended the surgery and was asked to read and sign a disclaimer that informed me about the potential risks of undertaking the treatment. Thereafter I was taken through to the surgery and the hygienist, Emma, talked me through the whole process. Emma was my hygienist who supported me through my braces treatment so we already had a great relationship which certainly helped to put me at ease. I mentioned about what I had read about sensitivity and she reassured me the whitening gel had changed quite a lot since the reviews I had read were published and that I was extremely unlikely to experience any issues with the new whitening process.

She started by taking alginate impressions for my whitening trays and having had this done by my orthodontist on numerous times knew what to expect. Those of you who have read some of my other posts will know that this is a procedure that I don’t exactly look forward to but everything went really well.

After ensuing I was comfortable, cheek retractors and cotton gauze was placed to keep my lips and cheeks away from my teeth during the process. The next step involved creating a liquid barrier covering my gums to ensure the gel could not cause irritation. This was hardened with the all too familiar blue lamp and then I was ready to start. Whitening gel was placed on my teeth and an activating lamp was placed just touching my face to start the process. Zoom chair side whitening involves four 15 minute sessions. After each session, the gel is rinsed off and reapplied. Emma kept checking on me throughout, reassuring me she could see my teeth whitening.

Someone had emailed me that morning to say the process ‘wasn’t fun’ but to be perfectly honest, I disagree. It was a very pleasant hour or so sitting back in the chair not worrying about phone calls and emails listening to soft music, Nora Jones I think, and with the lamp providing a gentle warm glow, was actually a most enjoyable process. At the end, my teeth were assessed as shade A1 which I was really pleased about and just to reiterate, I experienced absolutely no pain, discomfort or sensitivity at all.

After leaving the surgery, I visited the dental lab where my home whitening trays were being made and in my next post on this topic, will be explaining how they were fabricated.

I had my teeth whitened at Eilertsen Dental Care