Our teeth are under the constant influence of various coloring agents, present in food, drinks, drugs, tobacco and beauty products. As a result teeth become discolored. Coloring agents may get deposited on the surface or penetrate the hard tissues of the tooth. Very often the reason for the discoloration is tooth injury or its endodontic treatment (root canal treatment) as well as tooth formation and growing malfunction (fluorosis, hypoplasia, tetracycline teeth). All the cases of tooth discoloration require professional tooth whitening.
Tooth whitening is the change of tooth color with the help of high-quality professional bleachers. There is an absolute contraindication to professional tooth bleaching – allergic reaction to hydrogen peroxide or other components of the bleaching systems. Tooth bleaching is not recommended for pregnant and nursing mothers.
Tooth whitening procedure should be preceded by hygienic tooth cleaning.
Professional tooth whitening methods include:
• in-office whitening;
• home whitening with the help of trays;
• internal tooth whitening.
In-office tooth whitening
In-office tooth whitening (including power bleaching) procedure, which has become vastly popular during the recent years, is conducted in the dental chair under a doctor's close supervision. As a rule, the procedure takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. The main principle of in-office tooth whitening is the use of high-concentration bleaching gel and catalyst which makes the bleaching process faster. Such catalysts of chemical reactions are UV lamps, laser rays, heat and special chemical compounds.
Home tooth whitening
Home tooth whitening involves wearing special trays filled with professional bleachers. Usually you have to wear the tray for 2 to 3 weeks. Both day and overnight tooth whitening are possible. The first results of tooth whitening become visible in 4 to 5 days and are getting gradually stronger. Home tooth whitening effect remains visible for a long time. Depending on the color stability it is possible to conduct short courses of tooth whitening to sustain the achieved result. Usually 3 to 4 sessions every 6 months are enough to achieve a stable effect.
Internal individual tooth bleaching
There are cases when the tooth requires not external, but internal bleaching. For example, when a tooth gets injured mechanically, it becomes pink almost immediately. In time such teeth usually acquire a tawny hue. A tooth may also become darker as a result of a tooth pulp removal and root canal blocking. In such cases the method of so-called internal tooth bleaching is applied. The procedure involves filling the tooth from inside with a special bleaching gel. The tooth cavity is covered with a temporary filling. The doctor reapplies the gel during the next patient's visit (in 1 to 5 days). The bleaching course may take from 3 to 5 visits. When the therapy is over, tooth cavity is covered with a permanent filling.
You can bleach only natural teeth. Fillings, veneers, ceramic crowns have absolutely different structure, that's why bleaching procedures don't affect them. If you have decided to whiten your teeth, you should do this after dental restorations (i.e. tooth filling or veneer placing) or orthodontic treatment.