When I worked in retail as a teenager, my manager once asked me if I needed to take smoke breaks. Puzzled, I asked why she would ask that since I have never smoked. She commented that my teeth gave the impression that I did. Oh. Since that time my oral hygiene has improved dramatically, facing the fear of a shaming like that ever again. However, when I was asked to review Family Dental’s teeth whitening service, I was very curious about this popular treatment. Being a coffee drinker and wine swirler, I thought it might be worth boosting the gleam on my pearly whites.
Teeth Whitening Service from Family Dental Centre
First things first: I hate going to the dentist. I don’t know what it is, I can get the best care, but I always end up a knotted ball of nerves, where I sweat and clench my hands even when swirling fluoride. However, walking into Family Dental Centre’s Alberni location in Downtown Vancouver, I didn’t feel like I was going to the dentist. I was excited, and it was such a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
The bright decor and calming aroma from a diffuser made it feel like I was going in for a massage or pedicure. I met the friendly staff, had some water, and filled out the paperwork for my treatment. Pretty much every question I had in the back of my head was answered in the patient paperwork including:
- How long will it take? The treatment is 3 or 4 x 15 minute sessions in one sitting.
- Are there lasers? It’s not a laser but an LED light that is targeted at your teeth, upon which there is the whitening gel. Your gums are protected so it only focuses on your enamel.
Any other questions were addressed by the team right off the bat. Note: Those who book a treatment directly with Family Dental will also get this information before they arrive.
I had a check-up from the dentist, Dr. Karim Lalani, and hygienist Mamta Lallu compared my upper and lower teeth to a model to get a good idea of a “before” picture. I was offered a blanket, as my chair dipped back and I looked up to the TV screen on the ceiling. I turned up my headset and watched daytime TV as Mamta set everything up for my procedure.
Before You Go
1. You can’t eat for a few hours afterwards (Dr. Lalani offered me a Boost in case I thought I would be hungry) and you cannot have anything other than clear or white foods for 48 hours. Mamta told me to avoid anything that would stain a white shirt, which is a good way to look at it. With this in mind, stock up on rice, potatoes, clear soups, etc. so you’re prepared when you get home.
2. During the procedure I had some sensitivity and when that happened I raised my hand and Mamta stepped in to either add more soothing gel to my teeth or gums, or to pause the procedure. She always asked if I wanted to continue, and I could have stopped at any time. Other than that, it was smooth sailing!
Once the procedure was done, it was time for the big reveal. That moment when you get to see instant results, take photos and feel pretty giddy at the transformation that has happened.
The results were immediate. On my upper teeth I improved about 3 shades, and on the bottom I improved 6 shades! My top teeth were more of a grey tone to start and the bottom were more yellow in comparison. It was a really, really good “before and after”.
Before I left, I was given a hot towel and a care kit including soothing gel, Sensodyne for brushing, a toothbrush, and floss. I headed off to the grocery store to pick up some plain popcorn, white cheddar, turkey breast, cauliflower, and other non-staining foods for the rest of the weekend.
I also took a selfie and sent it to my sister-in-law who said: “Your teeth are as white as your eyeballs!” I may have also been sporting a very enthusiastic full-face grin.
Upon arriving home I experienced some bursts of pain in individual teeth but I took a Motrin and it eased up – the soothing gel from my care package would have helped with this too. I woke up refreshed, smiling bright, and ready to tackle the rest of the weekend. Even if I couldn’t have coffee that morning, a coconut smoothie was a worthy (and healthy) substitute given the results I wanted to preserve.
About Family Dental Centres
There are six Family Dental Centre locations around the Lower Mainland including Alberni, Clayton Heights, Panorama, Royal City, Surrey, and Madison Centre in Burnaby which is the flagship office. They offer a wide variety of family and cosmetic dentistry services including Invisalign and veneers, to bridges and dentures, mouth guards and more with spa-like hospitality.