Teeth whitening is all the rage these days says a West London dentist, the methods used depend on your budget of course. Bleaching is popular as it is quite cheap compared to say veneers; and is available at most salons. The salons generally have a regular technician that calls on them to attend to the needs of clients requiring the treatment. Smokers in particular are common clients for this kind of treatment. It involves a coating or bleaching agent that is then bombarded with an ultra violet light, and this then reacts with it and impregnates the teeth with the whitening effect. The sessions are generally between 15-20 minutes and depending on the stains, the teeth may need two or more sessions. The effect can be quite startling and the shade of white is usually brighter than the teeth’s natural colour, even in good well looked after teeth. Many chemists now stock self whitening kits, these have been widely advertised and research shows that they can be just as effective. The kits contain a gum shield that is filled with the Hydroxide solution and an active agent; this is fitted over the teeth and left for a period to soak the teeth and literally bleach them white. Avoidance of staining foods and drinks is necessary for a while, but most people are happy to choose a home kit, as they are known, and do the job themselves. Whereas the technician may charge you anything from £100 to £400, a home kit can be as cheap as just £20 and the effect can be just the same in a lot of cases. This certainly seems to be a cheaper alternative to veneers, but what the long term effect of Hydroxide on the teeth may turn out to be, is anyone’s guess.