Over time, our teeth do gradually become discolored or yellowish due to aging or personal habits such as drinking coffee, tea, alcohol or smoke. In today advancement in technologies, there is a variety of smile whitening methods and technologies. Your smile can easily be whitened in a number of ways.
Types of Teeth Whitening
There are two basic options for smile whitening:
1. In-office tooth whitening: instant whitening results using light-activated gel to brighten teeth.
2. At-home whitening systems: customised trays and prescription whitening gel done at home In-office tooth whiteing gives immediate whitening results after treatment. At-home tooth whitening systems need to be done as directed by your dentist over a period of time to attain the result warranted.
Benefits of In-office Tooth Whitening
• Done by professional whereby initial checks are first done to ensure that tooth whitening treatment is suited for individual
• Faster treatment time completed within one visit in about one hour
• No need to wear the tray over night as used in at-home whitening systems
Benefits of Home Whitening
• Home whitening can done in privacy at home
Types of In-office Tooth Whitening
• Laser Teeth Whitening and Laser Tooth Whitening Promotions
• Zoom! Teeth Whitening and Zoom Tooth Whitening Promotions
• BriteSmile Teeth Whitening and BriteSmile Tooth Whitening Promotions
Procedure for In-office Tooth Whitening Treatment
1. First Evaluation and pre-whitening tooth shade selection
+ the pre-whitening tooth shade is selected from array of tooth-shaped porcelain tabs for post-treatment comparison
+ professional dental scaling and polishing is usually done before the bleaching treatment is performed, but it is optional if the patient’s teeth is already cleaned
2. Isolate Teeth to be Whitened
+ A dental dam is placed to isolate teeth and prevent the whitening agent from irritating or damaging soft oral tissues
3. Place Eye Protection for protection
4. Apply whitening gel
+ teeth is dried and the bleaching compound applied
5. Expose whitening gel to laser light
+ the whitening gel is activated using a light source. This “activation” shortens the needed treatment time and/or makes the whitener more effective
6. Leave whitening gel for a prescribed time or repeat 4 and 5
7. Remove whitening gel
+ the whitening gel and dental dam is washed and suctioned off
8. Determine Post-bleaching Tooth Shade
+ after the bleaching treatment has been completed, a shade evaluation is done to see how much whitening is achieved
Procedure for Home Bleaching Treatment
1. First evaluation and Individual customised trays made
+ at the dental office, patients are scheduled for a tray fitting where impressions or molds of the upper and lower teeth are taken
+ from the impressions, customised trays are formed
2. Application instructions are given along with syringes of whitening gel
+ the customised trays are delivered and tested for proper fit
+ instruction on the application of gel and how to wear the tray is then given
3. The tray and whitening gel are worn for several hours over a period of time as prescribed by your dentist
Some people who undergo in-office whitening may experience some sensitivity in their teeth. This sensitivity should be gone within 1-2 days. Sensitivity from at home whitening will dissipate after a 1-2 day rest between whitening applications.
Post care Instructions for Tooth Whitening and Take-home Bleaching Solution
1. Avoid consuming color-staining foods and drinks such as coffee, tea, red wine, coke, etc. as well as smoking for at least one week
2. Proper oral hygiene care should be carried out to maintain and avoid diminished whitening results
3. If experiencing some sensitivity in teeth after tooth whitening
+ Avoid hot, cold or acidic food and beverages
+ Pain medication be taken as directed as long as there is no medical contradiction based upon your medical history
+ Use flouride rinse and toothpaste for sensivity teeth
4. If experiencing some sensitivity in teeth for take-home bleaching
+ Wear the tray for a shorter period of time (for example, two 30-minute sessions vs. two 60-minute sessions)
+ Stop whitening your teeth for two to three days to allow your teeth to adjust to the whitening process
Care for Tooth Whitened Teeth
Simply follow good oral hygiene practices:
• Brush at least twice a day. It is good practice to brush after eating and before bedtime.
• Floss at least once to twice a day.
• Rinse with fluoride rinse before bed. Swish the fluoride rinse vigorously in your mouth for at least one minute. Do not swallow any of the rinse and do not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes
• Be careful about chewing toffees, gum, grainy rolls and tough food in this area
• See your dentist for regular professional check-ups and cleanings
Considerations to Tooth Whitening
Smoking should be stopped before teeth are bleached. Smoking can cause tissue damage on teeth and may defeat the effect of whitening. The best candidates for whitening are those with stains caused by coffee, tobacco or aging.
Considerations to Laser Tooth Whitening
|Extensive composite and porcelain restorations||If you have pre-existing cosmetic restoration (bonding, porcelain crowns, bridge, veneers or fillings ) they will not be bleached and you may need to replace them in order to match your new color shade.|
|Pre-existing sensitive teeth and allergies||Individuals with sensitive teeth and gums, receding gums and/or defective restorations should consult with their dentist prior to using a tooth whitening system. Anyone allergic to peroxide (the whitening agent) should not use a bleaching product. 2/3 of these people will experience some sensitivity for 1-4 days. This is usually reversible upon termination of bleaching.|
|Severe gray/blue banded tetracycline staining||Guarded prognosis required. Stains in the gray family (such as from tetracycline) can be harder to remove, if not impossible. These stains can take up to six months or longer to whiten. Whitening may only reduce amounts of ‘masking’.|
|Discoloration in gingival third or exposed yellow||Guarded prognosis for whitening required.|
|Pregnant or lactating women and young children||No know adverse effects but avoid use as a precautionary measure.|
|Translucent teeth||May appear darker after bleaching.|
|Temporomandibular Joint Disorders||May want to consider bleaching one arch and monitor comfort before proceeding with the other|
|Gum disease, worn enamel, cavities, and exposed roots||Cavities and gum diseases need to be treated before undergoing any whitening procedure.|
|Noncompliance or unrealistic expectation||The degree of whiteness is different from one individual to another, the degree of shade change obtainable is dependent on each person’s reaction. Certain people react well while others may not be as responsive.
Whitening will not correct certain forms of discoloration. For these cases, a dentist may recommend veneers instead which cover the entire tooth. Teeth with prosthetics, bonding, tooth-colored fillings will not bleach. Individuals with yellow tones to their teeth respond best. The degree of whiteness will vary from individual to individual depending on the condition of the teeth, nature of the stain and individual reaction to the whitening agent.