Foods and drinks we consume daily contain numerous pigment compounds (such as coffee, tea, juices, carrots, beets, chocolate, etc., as well as some spices and dietary supplements – turmeric, propolis, etc.). They penetrate the tooth structure and over time, the teeth appear darker. Smoking also has a negative effect on the colour.
How can teeth be whitened?
Superficial discolouration can be removed by polishing with baking soda and water under pressure. The soda particles have a specific spherical shape (unlike the irregular polygonal crystals of baking soda). It polishes the enamel well and creates smooth surfaces, making it much harder for pigments and plaque to stick. Pigments in the deep layers of the enamel and dentin can be removed by bleaching.
Types of teeth whitening
There are two types:
- Home bleaching – with custom-made trays (made in a dental laboratory), in which a whitening gel is placed
- In-office – in a dental office in one visit
Home bleaching (Home Tooth Whitening)
Before starting the whitening process, the tartar and plaque should be cleaned, and the tooth surfaces – polished. On the next visit, impressions of the upper and lower jaws are taken. Custom trays with reservoirs for the whitening gel are made in a dental laboratory. In the following visit, the trays are handed over to the patient, along with syringes of whitening gel and a storage box. Detailed instructions for use and tips for achieving maximum results are provided.
Usually, the desired colour is achieved in 7-14 days.
In-office teeth bleaching
Before the procedure, the tartar and plaque on the teeth must be cleaned and polished.. The first step is to isolate the soft tissues – a particular barrier is placed over the crown to protect it from the effects of the gel. Then, a concentrated whitening gel is applied to the tooth surfaces, and depending on the desired shade, several applications may be necessary. This method is suitable for patients who are pressed for time – they have a special occasion or trip coming up and want to achieve the effect quickly – within 1 day.
Before and after whitening image comparison.
Is teeth whitening procedure harmful?
Whitening does not damage the structure of the teeth! Sometimes unwanted effects are observed – sensitivity (including to the crown), which subsides after a few days. At Noradent, patient comfort is of paramount importance, so we use whitening gels rich in ions that strengthen the enamel structure and reduce sensitivity. Teeth whitening is contraindicated during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
What does the Noradent dental clinic team recommend?
In our practice, we recommend home bleaching to our patients. It is much gentler, and at the same time, the result is longer-lasting and the colour control is more precise. In addition, the trays can be used in the future – after routine tartar cleaning every 6-12 months, the colour can be refreshed with one application of a whitening gel depending on the patient’s desires and needs.
Home bleaching procedure:
We take impressions from the upper and lower jaw and make trays (similar to clear aligners or retainers) where the patient should place the bleaching product. Most patients need to wear the trays from thirty minutes to four hours. It depends on the bleaching agent. It lasts about 10 to 14 days. During this period it is essential to follow the instructions of the dentist.
In-office bleaching procedure:
First, we isolate the gums and the lips and then we applicate the bleaching agent mixed with a booster. There are some sessions of replicating the agent.
Both the home and in-office bleaching are supposed to be accompanied by a photo shoot before and after the procedure.