Let’s talk teeth whitening – what exactly is it, is it bad for our teeth and what’s the difference between going to a dentist as opposed to a beauty salon for the treatment?

What exactly is teeth whitening?
When asked -“what would you like to improve most about your smile?” The most common response from people was whiter & brighter teeth – this is where teeth whitening comes in.
Teeth whitening is the process of brightening the colour of your natural teeth, removing stains and discoloration.




Above patient Brian (33 years) was unhappy with the shape and colour of his teeth. After discussing various options including Orthodontics, we decided to do a course of tooth whitening followed by cosmetic bonding of his front teeth to change their shape.

Treatment: Tooth Whitening followed by Cosmetic Tooth Bonding.

Duration of treatment:  Slow-release whitening followed by one visit in the chair for Cosmetic Bonding.

What happens during the treatment process?
The process is relatively simple, involving just a few steps. Firstly, your teeth and gums are checked to ensure that you are dentally fit and a good candidate for whitening. Then impressions are taken, and a custom-made tray that fits exactly to your mouth will be fabricated. Once the trays fit properly, you will be showed how to use the whitening gel, which is placed in the tray and worn through the night as you sleep. The trays are extremely thin and comfortable to wear, people rarely have any problems sleeping with them.

Is everybody suitable?
Most people are suitable candidates for whitening. However, if you have existing crowns/veneers/fillings on your front teeth- due to the material are unable to whiten.

How long do the teeth whitening effects last?
Teeth whitening results are long-term, but not permanent. People who smoke, or expose their teeth to foods and drinks that cause staining will see the whiteness fade more quickly than those who don’t. Once your whitening trays are made, they can be reused, and it is a simple and inexpensive process to “top-up” from time to time. We recommend topping-up one night every second month to maintain optimum whiteness.

How “white” will my teeth go?
This depends on a number of factors and results will vary between patients. Our system will get your teeth to as white as they will naturally go. Check through our smiles gallery to see some of our patient’s results.

How soon will I see results?
You will see results within a few days – just in time for Christmas!

Is it going to damage my teeth for the future?
Absolutely not- studies of teeth whitening products using Carbamide peroxide showed little to no effect on the hardness or mineral content of a tooth’s enamel surface- this is the

Are there any side effects?
Between 10-20% of people who whiten their teeth experience sensitivity, either during the night when whitening, or the following day. This sensitivity is transient, and normally goes away within 24 hours. Using sensitive toothpastes, or special desensitising gels available from Portobello Dental Clinic will normally alleviate the sensitivity.

It’s cheaper in a Beauty Salon – I’ll just go there…
It’s cheaper for a reason- beauticians cannot check your teeth for decay/defective restorations, they will not be able to diagnose gingivitis nor periodontal disease. They are also unqualified to administer and monitor teeth whitening products.
Dentists are bound by codes of practices including cross infection control measures that are often not in place in such commercial whitening businesses.
The only saving grace is the commercial whitening clinics/beauty salons cannot get access to the same professional strength teeth whitening systems as the dentists (obviously the dental companies only issue their high strength product to Irish & UK registered Dentists). So there is an element of damage limitation, in so far as, the product doesn’t actually work particularly well. The percentages of hydrogen peroxide that commercial whitening businesses/beauty salons can get access to is so low that there is no chance of these whitening products actually working to the same degree as dentist delivered teeth whitening.

It’s been said time and time again- but sometimes spending slightly more now will save you in the long run.

So do you fancy a white Christmas…?   
Contact us directly on T: 01 4542022 or see here for our half price Teeth Whitening offer !

Ms L wanted her smile improved for her upcoming wedding.

She was unhappy with the appearance of her teeth claiming they were ‘crooked‘ and the tips of the teeth were see-through.

Ms L’s smile before treatment:










With Ms L we elected to straighten her teeth with 6 month smiles and on removal of the short term braces we placed some bonding on the inside of her incisors to give a less ‘see-through’  appearance.












The treatment took just under 6 months in total and Ms L is ready to go down the aisle!

Clinician: Dr Ed Madeley

Treatment Cost: Just under €3300 (including upper and lower braces, fixed and removable orthodontic retainers, cosmetic bonding & whitening)

Treatment Time: 5 1/2 months

(no adjustment to the photos has been made)

smile before



These photographs are untouched – (and this is the same person just 9 months later!)




Treatment : I did not like his crooked front teeth; he wanted them straightened, but did not want to wear metal braces for two years 🙂

We discussed all the treatment options and opted for six month smiles because of the short treatment time, cosmetic tooth-coloured braces and excellent results.

Treatment carried out by: Dr Nicholas Beirne

Treatment time: 9 months

Cost of treatment: €2,995 including all orthodontic treatment,  hygienist cleaning and tooth whitening after treatment, and all permanent and removable retainers.



Treatment : N did not like her irregular front teeth and there were old and unsightly white fillings in two of them

We discussed all the treatment options including porcelain crowns, veneers and cosmetic bonding. We felt that cosmetic bonding would be best because :
a) it is possible to do in a single appointment,
b) reduced cost compared to other treatments,
c) although not quite as cosmetic as porcelain veneers, it is still possible to get a very good aesthetic result.
The teeth were whitened over a two week course, then reshaped using cosmetic re-contouring techniques and repaired using cosmetic bonding.

Treatment carried out by: Dr Nicholas Beirne

Treatment time: Whitening over 2 weeks, followed by cosmetic bonding in a single appointment

Cost of treatment: €740

full pic after 29301

Patient: Oxana in her 20’s felt very self-consciuos about her canine (eye/fang) teeth but didnt want to wear braces as a teenager.

 before 29301

 Treatment: Six month smiles orthodontics with Dr Helen Walsh

after 29301

Duration of treatment: 9 months

Cost : € 2995 which includes upper and lower fixed bonded retainers, upper and lower removable retainers, full mouth tooth whitening, and extended hygienist treatment and advice at the end of her orthodontics.

No re-touching of photographs has been done.

Needless to say, Oxana is thrilled with her result.


28948 BEFORE


Patient: E, a lady in her late 20’s early 30’s wanted some subtle  changes to the alignment of her teeth. Whilst these changes can seem slight from this angle, her fromt teeth were turned in towards each other, and fan-tailed out at the ends.

Treatment: Six Month Smiles Orthodontics with Dr Helen Walsh was the treatment we decided upon together.

28948post ortho post bleach  2


Duration of treatment: 7 months.

Cost: € 2995 which included extensive hygiene treatmnet on the last visit, fixed bonded retainers, removable retainers, and full mouth whitening treatment.

NO re-touching of photographs has been done.


28967  pre ortho 4

Patient: Vicki, aged in her 20’s knew that her lovely teeth could look so much better if they were straighter, so she came to Porotbello Dental Clinic.

Treatment: After consideration of all the options, we decided on six month smiles for her top and bottom teeth…..

28967 post ortho pre bleach 4

……and is truly delighted with the result.

Dentist: Dr Helen Walsh

Duration of treatment:  6.5 months

Cost: € 2995 (includes double hygienist treatment at end of treatment and whitening)

NO re-touching of photographs has been done.

29795 pre ortho 3

Patient: J – a lady in her 40+ years, with her family reared decided to focus on herself for a change and treat herself to straighter teeth, which she had always dreamed of. She wanted the convenience of being able to remove it for social occasions though.

Treatment: Inman Aligner worn for 20 hours per day for a minimum of 12 weeks.

29795 post ortho 4

Duration of treatment : 13 weeks.

Dentist : Dr. Helen Walsh

Cost : € 1700 payable over the course of the treatment.

No re-touching of photos has been done.



without CB 30455
Before treatment
30455 after
After whitening and cosmetic bonding








These photographs are untouched





Treatment : This patient did not like her uneven front teeth, she felt that the edges of the teeth were jagged and looked crooked. She also felt that the colour could be improved.

We discussed all the treatment options including orthodontics, porcelain veneers and cosmetic bonding. The patient preferred cosmetic bonding because  :
a) it is possible to do in a single appointment,
b) reduced cost compared to other treatments

After whitening the teeth, cosmetic bonding was performed on the four front teeth, & cosmetic re-contouring of the two adjacent canine teeth to smooth them.

Treatment carried out by: Dr Nicholas Beirne

Treatment time: Whitening for 4-6 weeks followed by cosmetic bonding and re-contouring in a single appointment

Cost of treatment: €1,180