After my chair side Zoom teeth whitening last week, I travelled to the dental lab where my trays were to be made to watch the process. The same process is followed for making ‘Essix’ retainers so I was interested to learn about the steps involved.

Impressions were taken at the dental surgery and whilst I was sitting back enjoying the whitening experience, a stone cast of my teeth was made from these impressions. The material the whitening trays is made of is a much softer and more flexible plastic than that used for Essix retainers and this is first heated to make it more pliable.

Whilst this was happening, the casts of my teeth were checked and any excess material and imperfections were removed. Once the plastic had been heated to the required temperature, it was vacuum formed over the cast. This took around a minute and when the machine was opened, all I could see was the thin plastic material tightly covering the cast of my teeth.

The final step involved the cutting and trimming of the excess material before finishing with a rotating hand piece to leave a nice smooth and comfortable tray.

I’m grateful to Emma and Steven at Highland Dental Technologies for inviting me to see their work and for the great job they did in making my whitening trays.

In my next post on this topic, I will let you know how I got on with home whitening.