Toni Raymond loves her nine shades brighter smile thanks to the Enlighten Whitening System
Toni Raymond is a smile-maker and the marketing manager at the Smile Style Dental Care Centre in Stafford. The practice is an Enlighten accredited teeth whitening centre and, recognising the benefits it has brought to both patients and the practice, Toni decided to try the Enlighten whitening system for herself.
Providing insight into the patient journey, Toni candidly describes her teeth whitening experience.
Over the last 18-months I have had orthodontic treatment and found it is amazingly easy to become obsessed with the appearance of your teeth. Don’t misunderstand me, I am absolutely thrilled to bits with the results, but having my teeth whitened will be the icing on the cake. The Enlighten system involves both professional and home treatment. I have opted for a two-week whitening course, which includes a final in-house treatment administered at the practice.
14th July – Pre-treatment preparations
At this first appointment, Jenny, the hygienist therapist, gave my teeth a thoroughly good clean. Impressions were taken of my top and bottom arch so the Enlighten laboratory could create high quality, sealed whitening trays to administer the treatment. I’m pleased to say the impression material tasted quite nice.
Jenny explained the treatment in detail including timings and what I should expect before taking some photographs of my teeth. As well as being used for before and after purposes these images were used to show my starting shade, which was D2, and were placed in my patient file.
Some people can experience sensitivity during the course of treatment so I was also given special toothpaste to use in place of my regular brand. I started using this straight away for the next two weeks in preparation for treatment.
27th July – Treatment begins
When the whitening trays arrived I discussed the treatment with Jenny before I took the kit home. I tried the whitening trays to make sure that they were comfortable and Jenny demonstrated how to use the two syringes of whitening gel included in the home pack, which all seemed fairly simple. I noticed that instructions were written on each syringe so it is easy to see how much to use each day.
I was shown how to put the trays onto my teeth, and how the gel spreads across the surface of each tooth. “It’s important,” Jenny said, “to make sure you’re not too forceful or the gel can squish out of the trays and onto your gums, which can lead to irritation.”
As I mentioned earlier I had been using special toothpaste for the previous two weeks but the kit also contains some sensitivity swabs just in case I experienced any extra sensitivity in a particular area. So, after all the help I had from Jenny – and armed with my new whitening trays and syringes – I was confident about starting treatment at home. I even remembered to pop the two syringes straight in the fridge, as instructed. Perfect!
Toni with her treatment complete
Pins and needles
28th July –Treatment week one
Each evening I put the whitening trays in before I went to bed, slept in them all night and then took them out when I woke up. The first time I put the trays in I was tempted to jiggle them about to check they were correctly positioned. I would advise patients to avoid doing this because it might compromise the evenness of the gel.
There is also the risk of some gel going onto the back surface of the teeth and while having these whitened is no bad thing, I can’t imagine there’s much opportunity to show them off. For the first few nights I worried a bit about distributing the gel evenly through the whitening trays, but the syringe has the amounts clearly marked so I was worrying for nothing.
During this week I used the starter syringe and didn’t feel much in the way of discomfort. There was a slight sensation similar to pins and needles in my gums. However, this can be reduced if you make sure that any excess gel is wiped away straight after inserting the trays.
By the end of week one I could see a definite improvement. At this stage, it is worth telling patients that the colour can sometimes look slightly patchy, but that’s nothing to worry about. It is simply the surface of the tooth responding to the treatment and it is barely noticeable unless you are looking for it.
3rd August – Treatment week two
This week I used the second syringe with the stronger of the two solutions. About five minutes after inserting the whitening trays I experienced a few sharp sensitivity pangs but they only lasted for a few seconds. Later in bed I felt the odd pang again, but it was only brief. I told myself that it showed the system was working, and anyway what are pangs for a couple of weeks in exchange for a brilliant white smile?
During the final nights of the second week, I had two particular teeth that were causing quite a bit of sensitivity. I applied the sensitivity swabs from my kit to these areas and that really helped. As with many procedures, it can be difficult to say if or how much sensitivity patients are likely to feel. Every individual is so different.
Once I finished the second syringe I scheduled the in-house application back at the practice, which I considered to be the cherry on the cake.
10th August – Professional in-house treatment:
I attended an appointment with Jenny so she could finish my treatment with an in-house boost. This involved the use of a stronger whitening gel that must be kept at the surgery, and can only be administered by a dental professional.
I took my whitening trays with me and the gel was applied for 20 minutes initially. I then waited for approximately 90 minutes and the process was repeated. This final in-house treatment can take the teeth up several shades and the therapist commented that she could see a visible difference.
After the final professional treatment, the finishing shade of my teeth is now B1. I am delighted. I have gone up nine shades and I am now proudly flashing my pearly whites and taking lots of smiley selfies!