Tooth whitening in an hour fact or myth? Lots of people ask me if 1 hour tooth whitening works or not. The fact that at present we don’t do 1 hour tooth whitening as a standalone treatment in the practice probably tells you a lot about my views on this. I have spoken to patients who will argue a case for both sides. On thing that you need to be aware of if you are having this done is that your teeth will get whiter just by being dried out for an hour. And believe me when I say that 1 hour bleaching WILL dry out the teeth.

Take a look at these 2 pictures, we did not do any whitening at all for this lady. We used some layered resin bonding to close a space between 2 front teeth that she was unhappy with. This in its self is fairly routine cosmetic dentistry at our practice in Edinburgh. No injections needed and a relatively short treatment time of around an hour. Low stress for our patient who liked the idea of injection free treatment and loved the final result. Happy patient = happy dentist!

Now look at the colour of the rest of the teeth, you will notice in the after photo that the teeth look much whiter (even allowing for different camera exposure settings.) This is because the teeth had dried out during the treatment. Given an hour or two another photo would show the overall shades of the teeth to be back to normal.

This is the same phenomenon that many people see after 1 hour whitening where the initial results look fantastic but seem to fade back from this level very rapidly. My point here is not to say that 1 hour whitening is bad per se but simply to highlight one risk with assessing before and after colour of teeth on the same day. Colour stability after whitening can take up to 2 weeks to develop depending on the system used.

Natural tooth whitening systems will boost your smile and get rid of the stains that build up over time but if you want the really white look it is still necessary to use a deep bleaching system which mixes together in practice and at home whitening for the best and most predictable results.

Dr. Fraser Hendrie BDS (Glasg.) MFGDP (UK)

Fraser is a Glasgow graduate with over 20 years of experience. He is the one of the principal dentists at Craigentinny Dental Care in Edinburgh. He has a reputation for consistent, high quality work and a love of innovation. Many of Dr Hendrie’s patients travel from the far reaches of Scotland, the UK and beyond. So wherever you live from Portobello or around Edinburgh to further afield he will be pleased to meet you. He is a member of the Student Clinicians of the American Dental Association, British Dental Association, the Association of Dental Implantology, and has studied at the Pankey Institute in Miami on several occasions. Fraser has particular interests in Dental Implantology, Preventive dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry and information technology. Fraser has also been admitted to the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners by examination. Fraser is married with two young children and lives in Edinburgh. In his free time he enjoys running, cycling, and kite-surfing.