Professional teeth whitening is a treatment to get your teeth to return back to their natural color. It will not make a complete change of color but will rather lighten the current shade. Teeth can be stained on the surface via food and drinks, for example coffee, tea or red wine. Smoking can make teeth appear yellowed. As you grow older teeth can become darker naturally. Tartar or tooth decay can change the color of teeth, and staining can occur below the surface, this may be caused by micro fractures in the teeth or antibiotics. Some staining can also occur because of medicine or disease. Note that caps, crowns, veneers, fillings, or dentures will not be helped by professional teeth whitening, as it is only effective on natural teeth.
When considering whether to get your teeth whitened it is important to think of the end goal, having a more attractive looking smile, if your teeth are significantly crooked or damaged it may be more impact to first consider getting this remedied before going on to whiten teeth, or indeed to do it in conjunction.
Once the teeth have been whitened the effect can last for up to 3 years. This will vary depending on the person and their behavior, if any substances, as mentioned above, which are taken will speed up the darkening process. To lengthen the effect it may be advisable to use a whitening toothpaste, also cutting down on sugary snacks and drinks.
There may be some side effects to teeth whitening, it is possible that teeth become more sensitive to cold after the treatment, also gums may become uncomfortable, with white patches on the gum line or with a sore throat occurring. These effects will normally disappear a few days after treatment, if they do not then you should contact your dentist.
Note that teeth whitening will not work on any sort of false teeth, for example, dentures, veneers or crowns.