- May 16, 2013
If tooth discoloration is preventing your laughter from shining on your lips, you have the chance to solve this problem in just a couple of days. The whitening process is basically applying a bleaching gel on the teeth and usually a light source is used to accelerate the reaction. The mechanism of bleaching is an oxidation- reduction reaction process. Ingredients of the agent give out oxygen during the reaction. Elements that cause discoloration are replaced with colorless substances and whitening of the teeth is achieved.
Tooth discoloration depends on various factors:
1- Environmental factors: Insufficient brushing, chromates due to diet, bacterial plaque on tooth surface, subjected trauma on tooth, staining drinks like tea-coffee, red wine and smoking.
2- Occupational causes: being exposed to metallic salts.
3- Genetic factors: genetically dark colored tooth, antibiotics used during childhood, abnormalities of tooth tissue like amelogenesis imperfecta, dentinogenesis imperfecta, fluorosis.
4- Former treatments: discolorations due to root canal therapy and amalgam fillings.
Prior to bleaching; caries, gingival recessions, gingival infections or abrasion of teeth needs to be treated. The cause of discoloration must to be determined in order to select the proper type of bleaching.
Internal bleaching procedures are applied on devitalized teeth that have undergone endodontic therapy or subjected to trauma. A gel concentration of 35 % hydrogen peroxide is sealed within the tooth and it is replaced periodically until desired whitening is achieved.
The dentist applies the bleaching agent on tooth surfaces and activates the agent with a light source. Before the procedure, lips are isolated and a light cured layer is applied on the gums for the protection of these soft tissues.
Light cured bleaching with a standard light source takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes and the outcome can be observed instantaneously. As long as no damage is done to the teeth, duration of the treatment depends on the patient’s expectations and the dentist.
If laser is used instead of a standard light source, bleaching is completed in an hour. Bleaching does not have any effect on fillings or crowns. For this reason, discolored restorations should be renewed accordingly with the new color of whitened teeth. Bleaching is temporary due to patient habits and time. Therefore, it should be repeated at times. No long term complications are present for these bleaching procedures which are practical for both the patient and the dentist. Teeth bleaching procedures are so easy and practical that now everyone can display a sparkling smile proudly.