Tooth whitening is the restoration of a natural tooth shade or whitening beyond the natural shade by using a number of different chemical agents and techniques.
Whitening procedure performed with aesthetic purposes to restore or whiten beyond the natural shade is the most protective method among various alternatives as this procedure allows preserving the natural tooth structure.
With tooth whitening, it is possible to lighten the colour of the teeth up to six shades lighter than its original colour.
WHY DO TEETH CHANGE COLOUR?
- Developmental disorders of teeth
- Traumatic dental injuries
- Foods and drinks like coffee, tea, cherry juice and red wine are containing colour pigments that attach to the white part of the teeth
- Tobacco use
- Medications, mouthwashes containing colouring agents
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE TOOTH WHITENING/BLEACHING
Whitening your teeth if you have tartar, gum disease, calculus, exposed cavities, crooked teeth, gum recession, or other untreated diseases can lead to further problems.
You should get your teeth examined and other procedures (scaling, cavity filling etc.) done prior to whitening/bleaching.
In-Office bleaching procedure requires a visit to the dental office where the dentist applies a gel or a rubber shield to protect the gums. Then the bleach is applied to the teeth.
Whitening effect can be achieved after 1 to 3 sessions.
As for the at-home bleaching, your dentist provides you with a customized tray for at-home whitening. With instructions from your dentists, you can put the bleaching solution in the tray and use it on your teeth.
The bleaching solution can be used for 7 to 15 days.
In some cases, both methods can be applied simultaneously.
CAN TOOTH WHITENING BE APPLIED AFTER ROOT CANAL TREATMENT?
Patients suffering from discoloured teeth following a root canal treatment can also undergo tooth whitening procedure. The whitening procedure for the devital teeth underwent root canal treatment is applied by the dentist through the placement of a bleaching agent into the pulp chamber inside the tooth (internal whitening). Most patients may need 2-3 sessions to maintain the bleaching.
EFFECTS OF BLEACHING AGENTS ON PORCELAIN RESTORATIVE MATERIALS
It is not possible to change the colour of the porcelain restorative materials using a bleaching agent. Before renewing white restorations, patients with restorations on front teeth will need to first undergo a teeth whitening treatment.