Turbocharge your smile with teeth whitening

Written by: Dr Anne Gormley
Edited by: Sophie Kennedy

In this informative guide for patients, highly respected dental practitioner and facial aesthetics clinician Dr Anne Gormley shares her expert insight on the various approaches to teeth whitening available. The leading specialist also offers guidance on maintaining the results of teeth whitening, safety and patients who may be unsuitable for treatments of this type.



What are the different options available for teeth whitening?

Laser teeth whitening


This type of treatment is not the preferred option as it mainly dehydrates the teeth and does not produce sustainable results. Most clinicians that use this type of treatment also use at-home tooth whitening and it is thought that is what predominantly produces the lasting results.


In-surgery bleaching


The results from this type of treatment are no better that the results obtained from at-home bleaching and are more likely to cause sensitivity. The patient is not in control of the final colour achieved and the treatment is time consuming for the clinician.


At-home bleaching


This is still the gold standard treatment for teeth whitening, using customised bleaching trays and ten per cent carbamide peroxide. Sixteen per cent carbamide and six per cent hydrogen peroxide are also available for particular cases but it is thought that ten per cent carbamide peroxide produces the most long lasting results.


In summary, ten per cent carbamide peroxide is generally considered the most effective method.



Can whitening damage my teeth?


Teeth whitening has been carried out in dental practice for many years and it does not appear to cause any damage to the teeth.



How can I maintain the results after getting my teeth whitened?


In order to keep your teeth bright after teeth whitening treatment, I would recommend avoiding food substances that might stain the teeth. In addition, it is possible to top up the result before a special occasion by using the ten per cent carbamide peroxide in your customised tray for a couple of nights prior to the event to turbocharge your smile. A scale and polish from your dentist will also set off your bright smile.



Is there anyone that shouldn’t get their teeth whitened?

Patients who have experienced tetracycline staining due to taking tetracycline drugs need to be advised that teeth whitening will either not work or will produce a banded appearance. In these cases, it is therefore strongly advised not to carry out tooth whitening.


Fluorosis, or fluoride mottling, can also produce unpredictable results and it would be very important to explain to the patient that it may be necessary to carry out restorative work using composite materials to mask the mottled appearance. The fluorosis is likely to appear more fluorescent that the unaffected portion of the teeth.




If you are interested in undergoing teeth whitening treatment and wish to schedule a consultation with Dr Gormley, you can do so by visiting her Top Doctors profile.

By Dr Anne Gormley

Dr Anne Gormley is a leading dental practitioner, facial aesthetics clinician, and clinical head at Spires Oral & Dermal Care, Magherafelt. Dr Gormley has over 30 years of experience in dentistry.

An expert in her field, Dr Gormley has combined her specialties in facial rejuvenation and cosmetic dentistry to create the perfect look for her clients to improve their self-confidence. Her areas of expertise include Invisalign, veneers, teeth whitening, bondscrowns and bridgework, Profhilo facial treatment, dermal facial fillers, volumising lip filler, and skin rejuvenation to treat fine lines and wrinkles.  

Graduating with a bachelor's of dental science from the esteemed Newcastle University in 1991, Dr Gormley went on to obtain an MFGDP from the Royal College of Surgeons in 1996. Additionally, she earned a qualification in paediatric dentistry from Bristol University and completed a course in implant surgery and prosthetics. She is also certified in Invisalign orthodontics. 

The transformation aspect of cosmetic dentistry has interested Dr Gormley for many years and inspired her to expand her practice to aesthetics. Recently, she achieved a PGCert in Non-Surgical Facial Aesthetics from Northumbria University. Thanks to her further training, Dr Gormley expanded Spires Oral by opening the Aesthetic Hub to offer a wide range of cosmetic treatments such as non-surgical facial treatments and cosmetic dental treatments. She is dedicated to staying up-to-date and pioneering new treatments with the newest equipment along with her team at Spires Oral & Dermal Care. 

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