Who does not want a bright, white, radiant smile that lightens up the whole face? Dental surveys show that 80% of people would like to have whiter teeth. Today, the answer is Teeth Whitening through a simple and safe procedure called Dental Bleaching. Bleaching lightens and brightens teeth and is tough on stains but gentle on your teeth.
Dark, stained or discoloured teeth can be a source of great embarrasment to many. It can often prevent you from smiling widely or even talking confidently. Today you no longer need to accept this aesthetic barrier. You can opt for a highly popular and successful treatment to whiten your teeth.
What Causes Tooth Discoloration?
Teeth can discolour due to a variety of reasons.
» The commonest discoloration is due to smoking or tobacco.
» Food and beverages such as tea, coffee, colas and red wine can be the culprit.
» Age can cause a natural darkening of teeth.
» Certain medications such as tetracycline, taken at a very young age.
» Increased exposure to fluoridated water.
» Dental infection, faulty or old fillings, and dental treatment such as a root canal treatment.
What is Dental Bleaching?
Dental Bleaching is a procedure where by certain bleaching agents are applied to the teeth in order to remove external and internal stains thus leaving the teeth several shades lighter. Various concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are available for this use.
Advantages of Dental Bleaching
This mode of treatment has solely been developed to lighten teeth in a simple and comfortable manner. It can bring about a dramatic change in almost everyone' s smile by changing a dull smile and yellow teeth to a bright smile with white teeth.
» Bleaching of healthy teeth is the safest and most conservative cosmetic treatment available for your teeth today.
» It generally requires no grinding of your teeth.
» It does not require any anaesthesia and is painless and well tolerated.
» The time taken for bleaching is relatively less considering the number of teeth that can be done at one sitting.
» Bleaching works very well even when combined withother cosmetic treatment options to enhance the aesthetics of your teeth.
» The cost of bleaching is less when compared to other full mouth cosmetic treatment options.
» Bleaching does not damage your teeth or change the structure of your teeth, nor does it change the shape or form of your teeth.
What are the Different Types of Bleaching?
Bleaching is basically of two types :
Office Bleach :This is done by your Dentist at the clinic using a higher concentration of bleaching material.
Home Bleach : This is done by yourself at home using bleaching material and a special tray dispensed by your Dentist.
Depending on your type of dental staining and your time restriction, the Dentist will advise either one or a combination of both of them.
How is Bleaching Done?
Your Dentist will polish your teeth and check their current shade.
Office Bleach : After protecting your gums and lips, the dentist will apply the bleaching agent on the teeth to be lightened and leave it there for a specific period of time. Intermittently, your teeth may be exposed to a special light, which will accelerate the bleaching process.
Alternatively, you may be given a tray containing the bleaching agent to wear while in the dental office.
Home Bleach :As part of your combination bleaching procedure or as an independent procedure you may carry out this type of bleaching at home. This requires you to wear a custom made tray containing a lower concentration of the bleaching agent, dispensed by your Dentist, for a few hours everyday.
How Long does Bleaching Take?
Office Bleach : Each sitting of bleaching done at your Dentist's office can take between 30-60 minutes. The total number of sittings is usually 3-4, though this can vary depending on the severity of the staining. e.g. Tetracycline staining.
Home Bleach : This is generally done during the nights for one to two weeks. Certain materials also allow you to do the bleaching for a lesser period of time twice a day. Your Dentist will tell you which one is suitable for you.
Side–effects of Bleaching are minimal and transient. Beware of over –the –counter bleaching kits available. These can prove to be abrasive to your teeth in the long run and they may do more harm than good.
Post Treatment Care
Your diet and habits will largely determine how long the bleaching effects will last. With good oral hygiene and a close watch on the exposure of your teeth to external stains from tobacco, beverages, etc., your bleached teeth should maintain their colour for a long time. If you choose, regular touch up sessions can be carried out once a year to ensure your teeth look their best.