Teeth whitening is generally a safe procedure under the supervision of a dentist. However, it is advisable that all defective fillings and cavities are restored before starting the whitening procedure as sensitivity can occur. Generally, whitening can last 2 to 3 years. It should however be noted that discoloration can occur if the patient is a smoker or drinks wine/coffee/tea frequently.
There are basically 2 types of whitening procedures, in-office teeth whitening and home-kit whitening. For in-office teeth whitening, the procedure is done by the dentist in his/her clinic. Home-kit teeth whitening requires the patient to apply the whitening gel on custom-made dental trays and wear the trays 4 to 8 hours daily for a period of 1 to 2 weeks.
"Laser" whitening refers to the use of light-activated whitening gels to whiten teeth. "Laser" whitening is done as an in-office procedure and results can be achieved usually within an hour.
Most patients report transient teeth sensitivity after the whitening procedure. However, teeth sensitivity is usually temporary and will go away 2 to 3 days after completion of the whitening procedure. Improper use of home-kit whitening gels can also result in injury to your gums. Please ensure that your dentist explains to you thoroughly on the proper handling of the home whitening gels and custom-made dental trays before you leave the clinic.