Teeth Whitening Treatments  

teeth whitening treatments

Teeth whitening treatments are cosmetic procedures to whiten teeth by removal of stains or discolouration of teeth to restore their natural color.

Whitening treatments are the simplest and most cost-effective way to brighten and whiten the teeth and get rid of stains but not all stains are removed by bleaching (discussed later). So it is important to consult a tooth whitening professional (a dentist or an endodontist) to see the best teeth whitening treatment for you.

are a solution to your discolouration or if you require more extensive treatment such as crown, veneer, microabrasion or macroabrasion.

When to use teeth whitening treatments?

Tooth whitening treatments respond well to yellow, light brown and orange stains due to ageing, genetics and intake of chromogenic foods and beverages. It takes 2-4 weeks per arch for the treatment to produce results depending on the level of staining. 

Stains that don’t go away from teeth whitening treatments

The brown, orange and chalky white stains respond slowly to bleaching treatments due to the following conditions and require other aesthetic treatments:

Also if you have cavities, periodontal disease or sensitivity, teeth whitening treatment is not for you. 

Precautions

Although there is no evidence that hydrogen peroxide can cause harm to foetus or infant, it has been advised that pregnant and lactating women may not undergo bleaching due to the increased possibility of gum irritation.

It is important to know that a high concentration of tooth bleaching gels cause tooth sensitivity, so if you have a previous history of tooth sensitivity you may experience increased sensitivity. Although dentists employ additional measures to deal with this problem. 

How do whitening agents work?

Several treatments employ the use of different percentages of either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to remove the stains.

Hydrogen or carbamide peroxide penetrates the teeth and breaks down into free radicals that disintegrate the double bonds of organic stains present between the organic salts. 

how to get white teeth (Types of Teeth Whitening treatments)?

There are several treatments available to whiten teeth and here is a list of simple, common and cheapest options:

  • Whitening toothpaste
  • In-office bleaching or whitening 
  • At home bleaching 
  • Non-vital teeth bleaching or internal bleaching 
  • over-the-counter teeth whitening kits

Whitening toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste contains detergent-like material that physically removes only extrinsic stains in the outer layers of enamel. It works to remove surface stains through the use of a mild abrasive. This abrasive works to physically remove stains from the surfaces of teeth similar to the way a sponge works on a dish.

Silica, alumina and dicalcium phosphate are some of the common forms of abrasives used today. Some toothpaste may also contain an additional compound or a polishing agent to strengthen its effectiveness, for instance, peroxide, titanium dioxide and baking soda. However, these products don’t change the shade of the tooth. They remove the stains, and in some cases, may assist in the prevention of extrinsic stains.  

Some research has shown that toothpaste containing the chemical sodium hexametaphosphate (Crest Dual Action Whitening) helps to reduce the accumulation of extrinsic stains.

It is important to know that whitening toothpaste isn’t effective as dentist-supervised whitening treatments. It is, therefore, recommended to use whitening toothpaste to maintain a brighter smile after a dentist-supervised whitening treatment has been completed.

In office bleaching 

In office bleaching is the most effective method of whitening teeth. The procedure is carried out in a dental office using a high percentage of hydrogen peroxide under the supervision of an experienced dentist. The gel is applied to the front teeth and left for an hour and rinsed after that.  The gel may require exposure to heat, laser or light for the teeth whitening procedure to accerlate.

The concentration used during the procedure is 30-35% of hydrogen peroxide. For this reason, it is associated with greater tooth sensitivity. If you don’t have sensitivity and you have extrinsic stains, this procedure is for you. 

Non-vital bleaching

Root-treated teeth or teeth that have undergone trauma a long time ago discolour over time. This discolouration makes the tooth noticeable and negatively affects the smile. The discolouration can be corrected by internal bleaching. 

After root canal treatment, hydrogen peroxide gel is placed inside the tooth to whiten the tooth and removed after the required time. It can be coupled with outside bleaching to enhance the results. 

If the bleaching agent penetrates the root filling and root of the tooth, it can cause internal root resorption. Internal root resorption is the dissolution of a root from inside and requires the removal of a tooth. 

At-home bleaching 

At home, bleaching is another way to lighten the colour of teeth. The results may not be as acceptable as in office bleaching and long duration of tray placement due low concentration of hydrogen peroxide (10%) or carbamide peroxide (10-22%) used.  

For at-home bleaching, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and fabricate a tray to dispense the bleaching gel. 

At home, bleaching may take a couple of days to see the difference but requires a week or two to reach the desired results. However, it is associated with less tooth sensitivity due to the low concentration of bleaching agent used.

Over-the-counter whitening kits 

There is a wide range of teeth whitening kits or products available both online and in your local pharmacy.  A kit typically comes with special trays that will fit snugly over your teeth. 

Inside the kit, you will find the trays, a whitening gel, and in some cases, a portable LED light. The purpose of the light is to activate the bleaching ingredients. However, some kits do not use the light method and rely on the chemical reaction of ingredients to complete the treatment.

Follow the instructions written on the kit. Place the designated amount of gel in each tray as mentioned on the kit.  Now place the tray in your and leave for the required time (written on the kit) and remove it appropriately. 

Brands: Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips, Opalescence Go 15% kit, Zimba white strip, Plus White 5 Minute Dental Whitening Kit.

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