Smile – sunshine is good for your teeth.

Truth Behind My Smile

DIY tooth whitening ruined Russell’s teeth.

November 2, 2011

After having his teeth whitened professionally, Russell Fraser was thrilled with the result. He spends a lot of time meeting clients, so feeling confident is important to him. Teeth whitening is an easy way to give your smile a lift. Whiter, brighter teeth give the impression of looking younger and healthier but top ups are needed to maintain the look.

When Russell decided he needed another treatment to brighten up his smile again he was very busy at work and thought he’d save time by using a DIY treatment at home. Russell did his research and found a company online that supplied teeth whitening kits. The company seemed reputable and he was impressed that the service included making personalized trays. Russell sent off an impression of his teeth and the kit soon arrived in the post.

That night Russell carefully followed the instructions, filling the tray with the liquid supplied and wearing them overnight. But by morning his teeth were throbbing so badly that he considered going to his local A&E department. After about 16 hours the pain eventually wore off but Russell’s problems were only just beginning.

“At first I could not see any changes to my teeth but I kept a close eye on them and after about two weeks I noticed that the area around the gum line had gone darker. I found a dental mirror to inspect the back teeth and to my horror, I could see they had turned brown.”

The damage to Russell’s teeth worsened with time, until, in his words “they were literally falling apart.” The whitening treatment had eroded the enamel, leaving the dentine exposed and his teeth in a very vulnerable state.

Russell knew he needed to take action but he was too embarrassed to visit his regular dentist so he called a private practice. He was told that he would need 18 crowns and he was shocked at the price. Typically, aesthetic metal free crowns at a UK private dentist will cost upwards of £500.00. Russell started searching for a cheaper option and he discovered Smile Savers Hungary. He was able to organize his treatment over the phone and once the clinic had seen photographs of his teeth they were able to give him a treatment plan and a quote.

Russell needed 21 fillings, four root canal treatments and 18 crowns to repair the damage. “It was intensive. I spent a whole day in the dentist’s chair for the first visit; the next session was four hours. But I have no regrets, in the UK the treatment would have cost around £28, 000.00 but in Hungary I paid £8, 500.00.”

Russell was told that the damage to his teeth was typical of some kind of acid attack. It’s hard to tell what safety testing might have been done on a home whitening treatment and you’re risking the health of your teeth and gums by choosing the DIY route.

Dr Attilla Kaman of Smile Savers Hungary agrees: “it’s just not worth the risk, bleaching agents and acid are dangerous in the wrong hands and you just don’t know what you’re buying.”

Luckily Russell and Smile Savers Hungary were able to remedy the damage, but dentists agree that teeth whitening kits should only be purchased from a dentist.

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