Teeth Bleaching

Teeth bleaching is a procedure used in general, and more specifically, in cosmetic dentistry, in order to brighten natural teeth and remove stains. The aging process and the consummation of colored drinks, such as red wine, red juices, coffee, tea, as well as the consummation of tobacco; stain the teeth and turn the teeth darker over time. The teeth change color when the enamel is punctured or stained. Only natural teeth can be whitened; crowns, bridges and porcelain veneers, cannot be bleached. The natural baseline color of teeth goes from yellow, brown or gray, depending on the inherited genetic factors.

Teeth Whitening Methods

The external bleaching process can be performed by using at-home or in-office techniques.

The external, bleaching process performed in-office, is done by using teeth bleaching agents, typically hydrogen peroxide. The oxidizing agents dissolve the coloring agents concentrated at the enamel-dentin junction. Prior to bleaching, all teeth, fillings, and surrounding tissue, must be thoroughly examined, and necessary treatments performed. The gums are protected by the application of rubber compound, and the bleaching gel is applied. After the appropriate exposure time, the bleaching gel is removed as well as the gum protection compound. The results of the bleaching process depend on the natural color of the teeth and the pre-bleaching color. The effects of the bleaching, depending on the dental care, may last from two to three years. The bleaching can be safely performed every two years.

Power bleaching, or light bleaching, is an external, in-office technique which uses heat, light, or laser beam, in order to dissolve the coloring agents by activating peroxide molecules. The results are seemingly better, but short-lived. In addition to that, the teeth can be damaged and scarred, due to the drying. Also, the light may affect the patient’s skin and eyes.

Tray-based technique is an at-home, external bleaching technique. Plastic trays are used to fit comfortably over the patient’s teeth. The teeth bleaching gel is inserted in the bleaching tray which is then seated over their teeth. The bleaching gel used is typically a 10% carbamide peroxide whitener. Depending on the dentist’s or manufacturer’s instructions, the trays are worn for several hours daily, or for a series of days or weeks, while the whitening process is performed.

Teeth Whitening Dentist

Internal bleaching is a procedure of treating a root canal, and replacing the nerves and blood vessels, that have caused the coloration of the tooth, with a rubber filling. The bleaching product is inserted through the hole used to treat the root canal, and the tooth is sealed temporarily. After the appropriate exposure time, the temporary filling and the bleach are taken out and it will be filled with a tooth-colored filling.

Teeth bleaching, although generally harmless, needs to be properly conducted in order avoid side-effects, such as: tooth ache, sensitive tooth necks, spotty teeth, gum irritation, and throat irritation. Incorrect application of the bleaching substance may cause sensitive tooth necks, whereas leaky fillings may cause toothache. In case of incomplete covering the tooth with the bleaching gel the results are spotty teeth. In addition to that, carbamide peroxide is considered a threat and thought to be carcinogen. It is also considered a potential threat for tooth enamel, tooth’s nerve and dental restoration.