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Tooth whitening (also known as tooth bleaching) is a procedure that brightens natural vital tooth structure from the inside(dentin). Therefore, the color of dental fillings or prostheses cannot be changed with this procedure. This can be performed using peroxide gel topically without grinding away any tooth structure. The only expected complication is transient mild to moderate sensitivity which varies among each individual. Nevertheless, since tooth whitening has gained more popularity nowadays, newer generations of bleaching materials have been proposed in the market. These improved versions are claimed to be more effective and cause less sensitivity.
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Tooth discoloration/staining can be divided into two categories;
- Extrinsic staining is from external substances such as; coffee, tea, red wine, food or cigarettes.
- Intrinsic staining is caused by internal changes of tooth structure as a result of many factors. A yellow crystalline broad-spectrum antibiotic is known to induce tooth color change while forming before the age or 8 years old. Moreover, non-vital teeth from accident or caries can manifest as discoloration as well as other abnormal tooth formations.
Tooth Whitening methods
There are many methods available, however, at-home bleaching using trays and in-office bleaching are the only two methods that have been shown to be effective.
- At-home bleaching
The patient will receive custom-made bleaching trays along with prescribed carbamide peroxide gels from the dentist. Apply the trays overnight(at least 6 hours each time) for 6 to 8 weeks during sleep.
- In-office bleaching
This method has become the most popular these days because it is done at the dental chair within 1 or 2 hours using light sources in combination with bleaching agent. Most patients find this very convenient and less time-consuming that at-home bleaching procedure.
The in-office tooth whitening system using Philips Zoom! whitening treatment
Before vs. After of Zoom Teeth Whitening
On the left are the strained teeth. On the right are the teeth after the Zoom whitening treatment
Comparison of before vs. After pictures of Zoom Teeth Whitening
An illustration of the before vs. after treatment of Zoom teeth whitening
All in all, detailed dental examination is required prior to the procedure to achieve accurate diagnosis of the discoloration and rule out other pathogenic conditions. Age of patient, existing dental fillings and/or prostheses, type of stain are the example of factors that directly affect the result of the procedure. Moreover, unrealistic expectations of the patients will have to be addressed and discussed before starting the procedure.
Treatment time for teeth whitening
For the in office bleaching, it will take around 45 minutes to one hour.
For the home bleaching, it depends on the initial shade of patient teeth which dentist will give a recommendation case by case.
The Ivory Dental Clinic determines to provide prompt services so every patient gets the fast response and efficient treatment.