In recent years the UK market for teeth whitening has grown considerably. Once thought of as only for pop stars, actors and the celebrity elite, mass market teeth whitening kits and a rise in availability of dental and salon based whitening has made teeth whitening into the most common cosmetic dental treatment available.
For as little as a few hundred pounds, patients can gain a much whiter and brighter smile in usually just two weeks. Dentists can prescribe special whitening gel containing hydrogen peroxide as its active ingredient which gently removes stains from teeth. The gel is applied to special gum-trays the dentist makes from a mould of the patients teeth and the trays are worn top and bottom at night. In the morning teeth appear noticeably whiter and after a week or two of this treatment, teeth will be restored back to a beautiful radiant white colour.
Due to the popularity of teeth whitening, new technologies and equipment have been created in order to offer an even more modern way to achieve a radiant smile. Laser whiting systems such as Zoom are used by top end cosmetic dentists and can allow patients to gain a white smile in just two hours! These systems still use a gel containing hydrogen peroxide but instead of applying it at night, it is applied in the dental chair and a special laser is used to activate it. This type of whitening treatment can be considerably more expensive than traditional tray whitening.
The ultimate in whitening results are gained through the combination of tray and laser whitening. The patient will start treatment by having a one hour laser treatment, followed by two weeks of at home tray whitening. After the tray whitening, the patient will come back to the surgery for a final one hour laser treatment. After this, the patient will have a very white smile. This technique works best for adults and those with exceptionally stained teeth. For teens and young adults with little discolouration, tray whitening is very effective in itself.
The best thing about teeth whitening is that it’s permanent! Most dentists recommend topping the whitening up once a year by wearing whitening trays with whitening gel in for one day a year. For those who drink lots of red wine or those who enjoy colourful food such as curry, teeth may respond better to two top-ups per year.
To find a teeth whitening cosmetic dentist in your area perform a simple Google search, there are many dentists in the UK offering teeth whitening and due to the relative simplicity of the procedure there doesn’t tend to be good ones or bad ones. Let very low prices be a warning however and only undergo teeth whitening treatment with a registered cosmetic dentist.

Wisdom Teeth

An adult with a full set of teeth will have 32 of them. Wisdom teeth are the four at the back of the mouth that come through last; usually in late teens or early twenties. They have a reputation for causing problems and many people experience pain and swelling when they start to come through. In the past, the removal of wisdom teeth was much more common but these days dentists do not like removing teeth unless there is a real need to. Modern adult jaws are smaller than they used to be and often there is only enough room for 28 teeth in a healthy mouth – but sometimes wisdom teeth can come through causing no problems at all.

When wisdom teeth start to come through they usually cause mild pain and swelling which may happen on and off for a few months or even years until the teeth have fully come through.  Sometimes people get a bad taste in their mouth due to bacteria building up or food particles getting trapped around where the wisdom tooth is breaking through the gum – an antiseptic mouthwash and special cleaning techniques will be needed to get rid of built up bacteria. If the infection gets worse, antibiotics may be needed. Sometimes there will not be enough room for a wisdom tooth to come through; in this case it is common for the wisdom tooth to become ‘impacted’. This means that whilst trying to come through, the wisdom tooth has not had enough room and has got stuck on the tooth in front of it. This is not a rare problem and by taking an x-ray, the dentist will be able to see this and will be able to give advice about how to treat it.

Wisdom teeth do tend to be uncomfortable when coming through and a good way to deal with the pain is to swish a mouthful of warm water with one teaspoon of salt around your mouth. Try to get the salt water to reach areas that your toothbrush can’t and repeat this a few times a day. Pain relieving medication such as paracetamol can also help deal with the pain but shouldn’t be used too frequently. Your dentist is the best person to talk to if you have any pain as they will be able to provide things such as antiseptic mouthwash and antibiotics. Dentists will be able to advise which the best medication for you is as well as being able to decide if more involved treatment, such as an extraction is necessary.

The extraction of wisdom teeth is still a common procedure and can vary in difficulty and likely discomfort depending on the size and position of the roots, the position of the tooth, and how crowded the mouth is. Fees vary for extractions from dentist to dentist and usually the top wisdom teeth are simpler to remove. It is always best to get a quote before undergoing treatment and sometimes it is a good idea to get a second opinion if you are told wisdom teeth need to be removed.

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Simon Smyth Dentistry
Shield House, Brook St, Bishop’s Waltham, Southampton, Hampshire SO32 1AX
01489 894496 ‎