Individuals who are unhappy with the sparkle or color of their teeth are mostly interested in dental bleaching or teeth whitening.Tooth bleaching products containing peroxide are safe and effective when used under the supervision of a dentist who follows professional directions for the usage.The tooth bleaching technique is to be practised by the dentist and should not be performed by those who are not dental professionals.The long-term effects from higher concentrations (>6% hydrogen peroxide or equivalent) of bleaching agents on the tooth structures such as the dental pulp, dentine, enamel and oral soft tissues are not completely understood.Therefore, on the grounds of public safety,home bleaching with over-the-counter products is not advised.Patient should seek professional guidance to determine if bleaching is suitable for their specific condition.
What is tooth whitening?
Tooth whitening can be a very effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth by way of chemical bleaching.Bleaching doesn’t involve removal of any of the tooth structure.Whitening is offered to those desirous of lightning and brightening their discolored teeth.The procedure will help only lighten the existing shade through changing the intrinsic or extrinsic color of the tooth enamel.
What is the need for teeth whitening?
Teeth discoloration is the commonest need for whitening and can happen over several years.Causes of change in color of teeth may be- Food and drink-Coffee,tea,red wine,blackcurrants,cherries are the main causes of staining,Intense color pigments called chromogens in them attach to the white, outer part of the tooth called enamel and cause discoloration.
Smoking;Tobacco contains stain causing agents like tar and nicotine.Nicotine though colorless turns into a yellowish surface enamel stain when mixed with oxygen.
Calculus or tartar can also cause alterations in the colour of your teeth.
Ageing can change the color of the teeth to yellow by exposing dentin surface over time due to brushing away of the outer enamel surface.
Injury:Our teeth react to an injury by depositing more dentin under the enamel and this makes the teeth color change to yellowish.
Medicines-Certain antibiotics, antihistamines, antipsychotics and high blood pressure medications can cause teeth to darken. Young children whose teeth are exposed to tetracycline (whether in or out of utero) at a time of tooth formation, the tetracycline will bind to calcium ions in the teeth. This binding will cause an initial fluorescent yellow discoloration of the enamel. Daily use of minocycline, a tetracycline derivative, has also been reported to stain adult teeth.
Radiation exposure to the head and neck and chemotherapy can also cause darkening in teeth color.
What is the procedure?
Once assessed by the dentist that you are a suitable candidate for teeth whitening, the entire process takes just around an hour.Teeth whitening done by the dentist is called chairside bleaching and is done in a single sitting..First the dentist will put a protective rubber shield or a gel on your gums to protect them from the chemicals.He or she will then apply the whitening product to your teeth, using a specially made tray which snugly fits into your mouth.The main ingredient in the whitening product is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. By the process of breaking up the active ingredient,oxygen is released into the enamel on the teeth whereby the tooth colour is made lighter.
Laser whitening, also called power whitening, is another type of teeth whitening system that a dentist can provide in his office for fast effective results.It is an expensive option,can lighten teeth color by 5-6 shades but has its own advantages. A strong bleach or gel is applied onto your teeth and then a light or laser is shone on it to activate the whitening.The laser activates and enhances the bleaching agent for quick, dramatic results.Due to high concentration of bleach used,special precautions are to be taken to reduce tooth sensitivity, as well as protect the lips, gums and other oral tissues from damage.Treatment is quick,takes an hour with same day results.
Home whitening kits:A wide variety of home whitening kits are available, including paint-on whiteners and whitening strips.Effectiveness of the products is variable and depends on the formulation, concentration, dosage of the active ingredient peroxide.Home kits are cheaper but they are not always guaranteed safe for the oral tissues.They tend to be more acidic increasing chance of damage to your teeth and gums. Because home tooth whitening has the potential to cause harm, we advise that you always talk to your dentist at Smiline dental hospital before starting the treatment.
At home bleaching by the dentist:In the case of home vital bleaching, the use of minimal amounts of low-dose hydrogen peroxide /carbamide peroxide is preferred,The dentist facilitates this by the use of custom made trays which reduce both the amount used and swallowed decreasing chances of damage to the patient’s teeth and gums.The total treatment can usually be done in three to four weeks.On your initial dental appointment, an impression of your teeth is taken by your dental team to prepare a mouthguard. The dentist starts the treatment in the clinic and the individual needs to continue it at home for the next 2-3 weeks diligently following the dentist's instructions.Regular application of the whitening agent for the prescribed time around 30 minutes to an hour for each session is essential.Currently there are new products in the market which can be applied for up to eight hours at a time decreasing the treatment time to just a week with good results.
Will whitening work for everyone?
Teeth whitening may not work for all types of teeth discoloration.Bleaching may work on yellow teeth but may not work as well on brown teeth while gray teeth won't respond at all.Whitening will be ineffective if the cause of tooth discoloration is medication or tooth injury.Whitening only works on natural teeth,hence cannot whiten discolored caps, veneers, crowns or white fillings..
Are home kits and salon teeth whitening risky?
Certain home kits may not be carry an effective amount of the whitening product to be actually effective.Also,a dental professional can fabricate a custom fit tray for the whitening, while those provided in the home kits may not fit properly causing some of the bleaching gel to leak out onto your gums and into your mouth, causing blistering and sensitivity.
Teeth whitening carried out in beauty salons by untrained staff or staff without dental qualifications is not advisable as it puts your oral health at risk.So as to maximize benefits and minimize risks,one should seek professional guidance in a dental hospital like Smiline.
Why whiten teeth?
Few individuals may experience thermal sensitivity in their teeth after the whitening procedure. This is due to the fact that the peroxide in the whitening agent penetrates the enamel into the soft layer of dentin and irritates the nerves in the pulp of the tooth.Others may experience some soft tissue irritation during or immediately following treatment, a sore throat or white patches on the gum tissue.In most of the cases, the sensitivity is only transient and will go away in a few days.