Information You Should Know About Teeth Bleaching
WHAT IS TEETH BLEACHING / WHITENING?
Teeth bleaching/whitening is nowadays a popular treatment procedure that will make the shade or shades of your current teeth lighter. This works by using an oxidizing or bleaching agent to lessen or eliminate stains by lightening the discoloration of the enamel or dentin of our teeth. There are many ways that which cause the natural teeth to discolor. They can be due to aging, consumption of staining substances such as coffee or tea, smoking, trauma and nerve degeneration. There are those that are sold over the counter bleaching gels and are self-administered. However the more effective and reliable treatment mode are those done by a professional.
The first step, will be an oral examination by the dentist on the patient. This is done to ensure that the patient has a set of healthy oral tissues and all cavities are fully restored. The type of stains or discolation will also be diagnosed by the dentist and decided whether the patient is a suitable candidate for teeth bleaching.
The patient then undergoes oral prophylasis, before bleaching the teeth.
There are two main ways to bleach teeth:
A. Using Dental Trays, similar to mouth-piece worn around teeth
The trays will be trimmed and adjusted so as not to cause irritation on the gums.
The trays are worn over the teeth for a period of one and a half to six hours daily for about 3 weeks, with visits to the dentist scheduled every week. There is also a method where the solution/gel uses a less than concentrated formula than the first mixture above. In this case the patient will wear the trays overnight for about a week or so or until it lightens to the desired effect.
B. Laser method, and more popular method
About the Bleaching Material:
Certain teeth bleaching gels contain the active ingredient carbamide peroxide (CH4N2O2). When water comes into contact with these white crystals, the release of hydrogen peroxide lightens the teeth. The structure of the teeth remains unchanged but it is whitened.
What results would one expect after bleaching:
The results mostly last up to 3 years and treatment will be required again, depending on the food habit intake of the patient. It is successful in at least 90% of the patients.
For the first procedure: Most people have noticeable whitening of teeth in 1-2 weeks after treatment. However for deeper stains, e.g. those caused by tetracycline, acceptable results will be attained only after several weeks of treatment.
For the second procedure: Results are usually immediate and dramatic. However, the cost is more than the first type.
Possible Side Effects:
Possible side effects may be an increase in tooth and gum sensitivity (hypersensitivity) to coldness. However, a temporary discontinuation of usage for a few days will usually bring back to normal the teeth and gums.
No one can predict how much lighter your teeth will become. The success rate depends upon the type of stain and your compliance. Bleaching only provides a shift in color from gray to a lighter shade of gray, for example. Bleaching does not lighten artificial materials such as resins, silicates or porcelains, hence; restorations and crowns may needed to be changed to match the new shade.