What is Tooth Whitening?
Tooth whitening, also known as tooth bleaching, is the process for restoration of natural shade of your tooth as well as making them lighter in shade even, if required.
Tooth whitening is considered better for people with natural teeth and it should be remembered that this procedure can surely make your teeth a few shades lighter in color it cannot make your teeth brilliant white.
Why would I need my Tooth Whitened?
Tooth whitening may be required if your tooth/teeth are getting discolored and losing their natural shade. It is considered an ideal procedure if you have healthy and un-restored teeth with no fillings and healthy gums. People with yellowed teeth show the best results.
Tooth whitening is advisable for you if:
- You experience extrinsic staining that covers the natural color of the tooth
- You experience intrinsic staining that causes the tooth to get discolored completely
- Dental plaque gets developed on the teeth and bacterial accumulation starts to stain the teeth
- Calculus is seen on the teeth caused by calcification of plaque with time
- You have suffered from a dental trauma that may cause internal resorption resulting in staining
- Your advanced age has caused the teeth to become thinner and the darker dentine inside is clearly discoloring your teeth
What does Tooth Whitening involve?
There are several different methods as well as a large number of products today that can help you whiten your teeth. Some of these methods involve using products that you can apply at your home while some methods and products require to be administered by a dental professional.
Tooth whitening involves:
- Whitening toothpastes
- Whitening strips
- Whitening gels
- Whitening rinses
- Tray-based tooth whiteners
- Hydrogen peroxide bleaching
What other Tooth Whitening procedures are involved?
Here are some of the various methods and products that are used in teeth whitening:
Prior to the treatment the dentist examines your dental history to check for sensitivities and allergies as well as your overall health, check soft and hard tissues and also for presence of previous restoration procedures and their location and condition.
Dentist will use a ‘whitening shade guide’ to measure tooth color which can determine the effectiveness of the whitening procedure. Bleaching effectiveness normally lasts up to several months if you take all advisable precautions to maintain it.
The bleaching procedure performed by a dental professional usually involves using a light-cured covering to be carefully applied on the gums and the tips of the gums in order to prevent chemical burns to the soft tissues. The chemical used for bleaching is usually carbamide peroxide that breaks down to form hydrogen peroxide in the mouth, or they may use hydrogen peroxide directly too.
Bleaching is most effective for teeth that have a yellowish discoloration and least effective for grayish colored teeth.
A veneer coating is useful for whitening teeth in case of extreme discoloration.
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Also known as power-accelerated bleaching this method uses light energy to intentionally accelerate the process of bleaching. This is a dental office procedure performed by experienced dental professionals. The dentist may use plasma arc, LED or halogen light energy in this procedure.
This procedure aims to excite the peroxide molecules without overheating the tooth pulp. Before the procedure the dentist would apply a resin-based light-curable barrier along the soft tissues (gums) of the tooth before applying the bleaching agent and using light energy for the process. This whole process now can be performed under an hour due to the advancements in dental technology.
Internal bleaching is considered an ideal method for restoring whiteness to your teeth in case they suffer from internal staining. A root canal treated tooth is an ideal tooth for internal bleaching method.
This method requires the dentist to drill a hole in the pulp chamber of the tooth, cleaning, sealing and filling the root canal with gutta percha (rubber material) points. The peroxide gel is inserted directly into the pulp chamber and works directly from the inside of the tooth on the dentine layer. This bleaching agent needs to be sealed inside the pulp chamber for a few days for it to have maximum effect as well as prevent micro-leakage.
Dentifrices (toothpastes) mostly contain abrasive agents such as alumina, calcium carbonate, silica or similar substances that remove the stains from a tooth through rubbing them. These toothpastes do not make the shade of the tooth lighter rather they scrape the outer surface of the tooth to remove the outer stains. These toothpastes may cause thinning of the enamel layer in the tooth when used for a longer period of time.
Malic acid claims to whiten the teeth however excessive use of acid actually causes dissolution of the enamel layer and makes the underlying darker-shaded dentine more visible.
Apples, carrots and celery are somehow more useful in removing stains as they increase the production of saliva in the mouth that acts as a natural cleaning agent as well as give a fresh breath by destroying bacteria in the mouth that are harmful to the health of the teeth.
How long does this take?
No teeth whitening method are a permanent solution, as exposure to food and certain beverages cause continuous staining. People who do take precautions to avoid intake of staining food and beverages can sustain the whitening effect for nearly a year at least.
How long will my teeth stay whiter?
The results of teeth whitening varies with every individual and it depends on the individual’s teeth condition, level of staining and also the type of bleaching method used.
Are there any risks involved?
The two most common complications after a teeth whitening procedure are the temporary increase in tooth sensitivity and the irritation in the soft tissues of the mouth, especially the gums. However, these conditions are temporary and can disappear within a few days.
Why choose India to get a Tooth Whitening procedure?
India boasts of a wide network of dental specialty hospitals and clinics that spans across all its major cities such as Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, etc. These dental hospitals and clinics are equipped with the latest instruments in dental technology to ensure that all patients get the best and most efficient dental treatment. These dental hospitals and clinics have the most experienced dental specialists as well as the most extensively-trained dental support staff that maintain global quality standards. Dental Procedures in India are also known to be more affordable than any other country.