Also known as teeth whitening, a cosmetic procedure to restore the teeth’s natural color, or to whiten the natural shade. The procedure can be done at the doctor’s office, or at home. The first option provides the best and safest results. The at home method includes using different whitening toothpaste, gels, rinses, strips and special whitening systems.
Teeth whitening is one of the most commonly used cosmetic procedures. These days everyone wants to have a perfect smile. That is why people decide to have their teeth bleached. The reasons behind a darker tooth color are numerous. The factors are called discolorations and can be extrinsic and intrinsic. Some people simply are born with a yellowish, brownish, or greyish tone to their teeth color. But with time and age, even the whitest teeth can go through some changes.
These are internal reasons that cause tooth discoloration. Some are even connected with defects and conditions of the teeth, that is present from the birth of the patient. They include dental trauma (the blood and dental necrosis due to trauma can cause discolorations), dentinogenesis imperfecta, amelogenesis imperfecta, enamel hypoplasia, antibiotics such as tetracycline, caries, fluorosis and more.
These are external factors that we can get in touch with during the everyday life. Smoking is on top of the list followed by colored foods and drinks such as red wine, coke, coffee, sports drinks, dark berries and more. Other extrinsic factors are dental tartar, calculus, mouthwash that contains chlorhexidine, chewing tobacco, people who are exposed to metals and more.
Extrinsic + intrinsic: age, bruxism.
Bleaching includes several different methods. Dentists can treat both vital and non-vital teeth. The in-office bleaching is the safest way to whiten your teeth. It is always supervised by a professional who knows exactly what they’re doing. They use whitening bleaching agents that contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These two agents have the ability to release an oxidizing agent that enters inside the tooth enamel and releases the discolorations. The dentist will first determine whether the patient is eligible to undergo this cosmetic treatment, and then start with the procedure. There are several different procedures and ways to activate the bleaching agent. First, he applies a special material, that will protect the gums. Then he applies the agent which can be either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These days, light-accelerated bleaching is very popular. That is when the dentist uses a LED or halogen light to activate the whitening agent and accelerate the process. Non-vital teeth have to be whitened with internal bleaching, which includes placing the agent inside the tooth.
The home bleaching process includes whitening pastes, strips, gels, mouthguards or any over-the-counter agent used at home. Some of them can be prescribed by dentists, while others you can simply buy in the pharmacy or the nearest store. Some of these methods can be a little dangerous, especially if they are not used properly. That is why it’s better to get professional help.
The contra-indications include tooth decay, periodontal disease, bad oral hygiene, allergies to the bleaching agents, tooth sensitivity, abrasion, erosion, attrition, pregnancy, kids under 16, gum recession and more.