Dental bleaching

The tooth whitening represents a rather simple and rapid way to change the dentition colour and shining, by using a hydrogen peroxide-based gel applied on teeth, following prior professional cleaning. Often, the spectacular treatment result will determine the patients to inspect more often and more attentively their smile, and also to monitor their dental and gum health, in order to take care of the beautiful and attractive look they got.

Which factors cause tooth “discoloration”? 

1. The basic colour of teeth is set genetically and is determined in about 90% by the dentition colour, the tooth interior layer found under the enamel. Due to this, the simple professional cleaning (scaling, polishing) only removes the pigmentation outside the tooth (tophus, spots) found on the surface, without influencing the deep layer which is the one that mainly influences the basic colour. The whitening effect depends on the basic colour of the tooth, each tooth reaching a maximal whitening level, beyond which any additional tooth whitening is useless. Teeth with yellow shade answer the best to tooth whitening and gray shadow teeth are the most refractory to treatment.

2. Age: There is a correlation between the tooth colour and patient’s age. Once got older, the dentine, structure responsible of 90% of the tooth colour, gets into sclerosis and becomes opaque, providing a lustreless, darker and non-transparent shade to tooth. When you are already 20 years old, the teeth start to have a yellowish shade, namely this is the phase when the tooth whitening produces good results. When you are 40 years old, the yellowish gets closer to brownish and the tooth becomes opaque. But, despite all these changes, the treatment may produce very good results thanks to modifying the brightness. The transparency is the single feature which cannot be corrected by any whitening technique.

3. Food habits: regular consumption of red wine, coffee, tea, coca-cola, carrots, oranges and other “colourful” beverages or meals cause significant stains during the years. Besides, acid meals such as cedrate fruits or vinegar contribute to enamel erosion. As a result, the teeth surface becomes more transparent and yellowish dentine gets more notable.

4. Smoking: Nicotine lets brownish accumulations of matter, which slowly get absorbed into the tooth structure.

5. Medications/chemicals: The consumption of tetracycline when the tooth is developing produces intrinsic pigmentation: dark gray or brownish striations, which are very difficult to remove.

6. Loose of dental vitality.

Which are the options to whiten teeth?

The tooth bleaching has as work precondition the existence of perfectly cleaned teeth (professional cleaning) and is done with a hydrogen peroxide-based gel. Depending on the used device, different peroxide concentrations will be used.

The method’s basic benefit is the significant colour modification in a very short period of time.

First of all, this proceeding implies the sequestration of the gum and, afterwards, application of a gel with a rather high-concentrated peroxide on the surface of the teeth, the action of which is enhanced by the action of a plasma lamp/dental laser.

In office tooth bleaching lasts about 20-30 minutes, depending on the system used. It is a quick method, which produces excellent results, but you have to take into account that no in office tooth whitening technique is sufficient, in order to get a sustainable effect, colour stabilising being subsequently conditioned by a whitening system at home, by using individualised mouth guards and a low-concentrated gel.

Many dentists share the opinion that the professional tooth bleaching systems for home may provide good results for a rather long period and allow getting gradually controlled whitening, depending on the desired bleaching level.

These easy-in-use systems are based on a low-concentrated hydrogen peroxide which applies in an individualised mouth guard made by a dental technician and which is put on the dental arches for about 2-3 hours or more (sometimes at night). Due to low-concentrated peroxide, the whitening gel may stay on the tooth surface for longer, without any risk.

Is there any limitation in tooth bleaching?

Everything relates to aesthetics!!!

The results of tooth whitening may be subjective, varying from one person to another. More people are instantly happy with the gained results, whereas the others are disappointed. Before starting any tooth bleaching treatment, it is recommended to consult a dentist, in order to get a true idea about the expected result and how long it will take to get the respective result. The expectations play a major role.

How the results gotten after tooth whitening may be kept longer?

In order to keep for longer the tooth bleaching effect, it is recommended:

1. to carry out a tooth whitening treatment at home once in a year;
2. to avoid meals and beverages which colour teeth, especially along a week after the tooth whitening procedure done;
3. to take care of the oral hygiene.

Attention!!!

You must take into account a string of factors before using tooth whitening techniques:

1. No matter how big quantity of bleaching gel you will use, it will not help you to have white teeth, which is not natural;
2. Results of the tooth bleaching procedure may be fully seen in about 2 weeks after it. This is an important factor to be taken into account when you want a ceramics-based dental restoration and you also want it to suit the tooth bleaching procedure (obturations or crowns are not influenced by whitening substances);
3. Certain physiognomic obturations (fillings) should be replaced in order to have the same colour with the whitened teeth;
4. Often, due to gum retractions, the yellowish root is exposed, which proved to be difficult to whiten;
5. You also must wait up to a 2-week period after the tooth bleaching procedure, in order to make composite physiognomic fillings, as the residual peroxide might impede the gluing of the material to the structure of tooth;
6. Pregnant or breast feeding women are advised to postpone tooth whitening.