Tooth Whitening

What is tooth whitening?

Tooth whitening is a procedure where by certain bleaching agents are applied to the teeth in order to remove external and internal stains thus leaving the teeth several shades lighter. Various concentrations of hydrogen peroxide / carbamide peroxide are available for this use.

What causes tooth discoloration?

Teeth can discolor due to a variety of reasons.

  • The commonest discoloration is due to smoking or tobacco.
  • Food and beverages such as tea, coffee, colas and red wine can be the culprit.
  • Age can cause a natural darkening of teeth.
  • Certain medications such as tetracycline, taken at a very young age.
  • Increased exposure to fluorinated water.
  • Dental infection, faulty or old dental fillings, and dental treatment such as a root canal treatment.

What are the different types of teeth bleaching?

Teeth Bleaching is basically of 2 types:

Office Teeth Bleach:

This is done by your dentist at the dental clinic using a higher concentration of teeth bleaching material.

Home Teeth Bleach:

This is done by yourself at home using teeth bleaching material and a special tray dispensed by your Dentist. Depending on your type of dental staining and your time restriction, the dentist will advise either one or a combination of both of them.

Tooth Whitening

How is teeth whitening done?

Your dentist will polish your teeth and check their current shade.

Office Teeth Bleach:

After protecting your gums and lips, the dentist will apply the bleaching agent on the teeth to be lightened and leave it there for a specific period of time. Intermittently, your teeth may be exposed to a special light, which will accelerate the bleaching process. Alternatively, you may be given a tray containing the bleaching agent to wear while in the dental clinic.

Home Teeth Bleach:

As part of your combination teeth bleaching procedure or as an independent Procedure you may carry out this type of teeth bleaching at home. This requires you to wear a custom made tray containing a lower concentration of the bleaching agent, dispensed by your dentist, for a few hours everyday.

How long does teeth bleaching take?

Office Teeth Bleach: Each sitting of teeth bleaching done at your dentist’s clinic can take between 30-60 minutes. The total number of sittings is usually 3-4, though this can vary depending on the severity of the staining. e.g. Tetracycline staining.

Home teeth bleach: this is generally done during the nights for 1 or 2 weeks. Certain materials also allow doing the teeth bleaching for a certain period of time twice a day. Your dentist will tell you which one is suitable for you.

Side effects of bleaching:

The side effects (if any) will be slight sensitivity of the teeth, which disappears within 48 hours after medication ends.

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