It’s probably been about two or three years I’ve been regularly saying to myself how I wanted to get my teeth whitened. But, in typical ‘me’ style. It took me that long to pull my finger out and actually pursue it properly. The main ‘push’ for me was when I was contacted by Elleven Dental – a really lovely dental surgery on Harley Street – to see if I wanted to trial the teeth whitening treatment they offer at the practice. What really appealed to me was that it wasn’t a ‘we offer this specific treatment do you want to try’ approach. But – as it would be if you’re a patient yourself – it all starts with a general conversation about what you want and what might work best for you. As I learnt, teeth whitening is a process that isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ fix. But read on to find out more about the process and results of my Elleven Dental Teeth Whitening treatment.
The first step in the treatment process is a consultation. Where I met with Peta Leigh – who is the teeth whitening expert at Elleven Dental. I have to say straight off that Peta was excellent – very warm and friendly. So if you ever get any dentist nerves at all, then she puts you right at ease. But she was also really honest and up front. No big promises or claims. Just realistic and honest about what could be expected from the treatment – both during and results.
What was decided for my course of treatment was a two week at-home process. Using custom teeth moulds and a two-phase process, increasing the intensity over each week of the course. The, as a final treatment I would visit the practice for the ‘after’ shots and an in-chair ‘intensive’ treatment to give the whitening process a final boost. So the first step was creating the moulds of both the top and bottom of my teeth. A slightly strange but quick and pain-free process. Then when I collected the finished moulds, they were double checked to make sure they fit as expected and I was sent home with my kit. The kit includes the two syringes of whitening gel – each in an increasing % to increase the effects over the fortnight, but allow for time to adapt to any sensitivity. I was to apply the gel to the inside of the mould and sleep with them in each night for the full time. Before the final check-up in and boost in the practice.
Now, I’ll be honest and say over the two weeks I was of course obsessively looking at my teeth awaiting the day I looked and had that bright white Hollywood smile that appears whilst I sleep. It didn’t happen and I went to the check up session feeling a bit deflated like it wasn’t working. BUT it really does come down to the subtlety that happens over time and how your shade gets white gradually. Which is why the before and after photos and sessions are SO important. That’s when you really get to see the difference it makes overall.
See below the before/after shots as taken by Elleven Dental (excuse the no-make-up face…). Top photo is the before, second photo is immediately after the final intensive in-chair treatment.
The final result for me was a change from a A2/A3 in the before shots to a BL3 in the after. This is quite a jump – when just one or two shades difference can make an overall change really noticable. One of the biggest ‘challenges’ for me was the fact that my teeth have some white spots on them, a thing called ‘Fluorosis’. Caused by ingesting too much flouride when teeth are still forming… I suspect this may have been the result of me being a child and wanting to eat tooth paste… oops. But it obviously means the surface of my teeth is uneven to start with, so as the darker bits get whiter…so do the whiter bit. The overall whitening definitely brought the shades closer together and made the ‘white spots’ less noticeable. Although they did look quite dramatic immediately after the final intense process. It’s something I wasn’t really aware of before the treatment and is now something I’m looking into getting treated further to try and fully even them out.
One thing I was surprised by was the lack of discomfort. I didn’t have any sensitivity during the process or after the final treatment. The only discomfort was actually wearing the moulds. They’re not painful at all, just feels a little strange to sleep with something like that in your mouth. Because they’re a sort of rubbery texture, I found myself clenching my teeth together over night and sometimes found in the night I had removed them in my sleep… after a few days I did get used to it though.
I am happy with the overall result. I’m glad I went for the at-home option for this first professional experience of whitening. One of the best things to come out of it is that I now take a lot more care about my teeth in general. I have always been fine on the basics but now have a more thorough routine and just take a little longer doing the basics. Plus I plan to have regular dental cleaning sessions and just look after them. One to make the whiteness last and two just for general good tooth health longer term.
I’ve really realise the impact treatments like this can have overall and will be something I’d be happy to invest in for future. Much like a good facial or a great hair colour, it really lifts the face overall and just looks brighter. I’d be really curious to see how the results vary for an in-chair only treatment to the at-home option, but I’m happy with my results and brighter pearly whites.
For more information on Elleven Dental Teeth Whitening: www.ellevendental.com
Treatment provided for review purposes.