Are There Side Effects To A Teeth Whitening Procedure?

Safe and effective cosmetic dental treatments at our Clapham practice.

The teeth whitening procedure is one of the most well known and popular cosmetic dental procedures currently available. All of us will have seen the result of this treatment when we see Hollywood ‘stars’ with perfect white teeth.

Unsurprisingly then, many people have visited the Confidental Clinic to have their own teeth whitened, greatly improving the appearance of their smiles.

Despite it being a non-invasive procedure, a few patients have expressed concerns about whether there are any risks attached to a whitening procedure; something that our experienced Clapham dentists discusses below.

The procedure

To quickly recap; the whitening procedure offered by the Confidental Clinic is a personalised home whitening one which involves making trays to fit each patient individually. The whitening agent is placed into these and they are then worn for a few hours a day for a few weeks, until the whiteness you want has been achieved.

The first thing that we should say is that the biggest risk with this procedure is to choose to have it done by a non professional. High street whitening outlets were once commonplace but are now illegal. Only registered dental personnel can perform this procedure. A number of non professionals have been prosecuted for offering this treatment, very often in an uncontrolled and harmful manner. Please make sure that you do not take this risk!

Your health

As with all treatments, you will be assessed for your suitability for a whitening procedure. Very few people are found not to be suitable but, to be sure, we always make sure that your medical information is up to date and that your teeth and gums are in good health. We may recommend treating any other problems that we find before carrying out the whitening procedure. The fact that the trays are custom made to fit your own teeth securely, but comfortably, means that there is minimal risk of the bleaching agent spilling onto the soft tissues of your mouth. This can cause burning and can be very painful, hence the high degree of care we take. This is the main reason why we recommend that people do not use ‘off the shelf’ home whitening kits as one size fits all trays may cause leakage of the bleach.


The biggest ‘risk’ to having professional teeth whitening treatment is that you may experience a little temporary sensitivity for a short period of time. We should emphasise that this only affects a small number of patients and usually subsides after a few days. So safe is this procedure that, once the whitening effect starts to fade after a number of months, the whitening procedure can be repeated with no risk to the patient.

We do, of course, continually monitor your situation in case there are any changes which may affect the outcome of this treatment. This is rare though, and most people are able to continue having their teeth whitened for as long as they wish.

If you would like to know about the teeth whitening procedure offered at our Clapham dental practice, or if you have specific questions or concerns about it, please call the Confidental Clinic on 020 7801 9060.