Procedure

Teeth Whitening- Dentistry

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Tooth whitening makes teeth looks whiter and stain-free, without discolorations. Whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can greatly improve how your teeth look. Most dentists perform tooth whitening.

If you want to maintain brighter teeth, you have undergo this procedure from time to time.

The whitening procedure has two types. The first one is the vital whitening procedure, which is performed in teeth with live nerves. The second one is the non-vital whitening procedure, which is performed in the tooth that underwent root canal procedure, in which no live nerves are present.

Vital Whitening

The vital whitening procedure can be done by using gel that is applied directly to the affected tooth. The applied gel must have hydrogen peroxide. This procedure is the most common among the two.

Non-Vital Whitening

Unlike the vital whitening procedure, which cannot reach and whiten the tooth that has undergone root canal treatment, a non- vital procedure can apply a whitening agent inside the tooth to create an impermanent filling.

Why Is Teeth Whitening Required?

The external layer of the tooth is known as the enamel. The color of dentin and the reflection of light off the enamel are the two reasons why teeth look white. Did you know that the genes from your mother and father may affect the smoothness and thickness of your tooth’s enamel? The shade of your teeth determines how smoother or rougher your enamel is.

A thin covering (pellicle) forms on the enamel and gets stains. Sometimes, teeth can also hold stain because enamel also has pores which could absorb stain in the tooth.

Which Doctor to Consult?

Your dentist can help you make your teeth look whiter and brighter. They will use a whitening gel or a specialized laser to quickly achieve whiter teeth.

What to expect during the procedure?

Before the teeth whitening procedure, cavities should be treated first. This is because whitening gel could pass through teeth with cavities and can reach the inner part of the teeth.

Whitening solutions will not work on teeth with cavities. Also, you may feel sensitive if you proceed with the treatment.

The dentist will start by cleaning your teeth; this will take around 30-90 minutes; however the procedure time depends on the current state of your teeth.

Your dentist will directly apply a solution to cover and protect your gums. After that, the whitening gel will be applied on your teeth. After whitening gel is applied, a special light will be shone on your teeth to polish it.

A mouthpiece with a whitening agent will be used at home as advised by your dentist for four weeks or longer.

Home whitening methods may be advised after the procedure.

Post-procedure care

This procedure is not permanent because if you do not maintain your teeth well, stains will come back. Foods, drinks and activities that stain your teeth should be avoided.

If you find out that teeth becomes sore or are bleeding after the procedure, consult your dentist.

Complications

Complications after the procedure are very rare. They may include sensitive teeth and mild gum irritation.

To learn more about Teeth Whitening, please check our blog on TEETH WHITENING: THINGS ONE SHOULD KNOW.

References

  • Tooth whitening. (2019). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tooth_whitening
  • What is Tooth Whitening? Details on Tooth Whitening Methods and Procedures. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/teeth-whitening/tooth-whitening/
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