The Fono

Health & Social Services

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Teeth Whitening

If you wish to have a brighter smile, then teeth whitening may be an option for you. Ask your dentist for help as they can provide more effective teeth-whitening treatments than the ‘do-it-yourself' kits available in stores.

Before having your teeth whitened, your dentist will check to make sure your teeth are suitable to be treated. In some cases treatment may be difficult or ineffective, for example with staining caused during tooth formation by certain antibiotics. Teeth whitening may make your old fillings or crowns look darker after treatment, so it is very important to be checked and advised of this.

Your dentist at The Fono will gauge what condition your teeth are in, the level of discolouration and the cause of discolouration. Many causes are a result of habitual smoking, drinking of dark-coloured beverages, such as tea or coffee and eating foods that have colourful spices in them. Whatever the cause of your teeth discolouration, there are options that can improve their whiteness – which can increase your confidence ten-fold and keep you smiling bright.

Below are the different whitening techniques the Fono uses, you can discuss with the dentist what is best for you.

Take-home kit

With the take-home kit, a mould is taken of your teeth which is sent to the lab, who make a mouth guard (made of thin clear plastic). Each night while sleeping, you wear the mouth guard which has whitening material in it. It takes about two weeks for teeth to whiten using this method. However, if there is intense, long-standing discolouration it can take longer – you don’t get that Hollywood smile overnight.

Chair session

A chair session takes about an hour, and during this time concentrated whitening material is applied to your teeth. This is ideal if you have an event such as a wedding coming up, or if you know you won’t wear the mouth guard every night.


If you have white fillings on your front teeth, or you have discolouration from within – often caused by trauma or dead nerves – you can have a veneer (shell) placed over your tooth’s surface. These can be composite fillings (done in the chair) or ceramic, which are made in the lab. If you have weakened teeth, or heavily stained teeth, crowns can be used, protecting the tooth at the same time.

Internal bleaching

Sometimes if you have had root canal treatment, your teeth can turn black (intrinsic staining). In this case, teeth can be whitened by internal bleaching, where the tooth is opened up, and whitening material is syringed into the tooth. Whitening teeth can last a very long time. If you do not practice good oral hygiene or you eat and drink high colour food and beverages, the chances are high that your teeth will discolour again. Please ask us for more information at your next visit!

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