Dental bleaching or whitening is a usual treatment in cosmetic dentistry. It is also predictable, efficient, swift and safe. At our clinic we have several different types of bleaching treatments, depending on the patient and on every case.
What is the reason for tooth fading?
There are many causes, but one of the main reasons is tooth ageing. With age, dentine tubules become narrower, and as their lumen reduces, tooth translucency also fades, giving the effect of a more opaque tooth, with a yellowing hue.
Another reason for the change in colour of teeth is the usual intake of substances that cause stains and blemishes, like tobacco or coffee, tea, red wine and other agents that lead to colour change on the surface.
An internal colour change also may occur, during the tooth formation stage, for instance in patients that have taken tetracyclines or certain antibiotics that may cause an internal staining. Excess of fluoride may also lead to a modified colouring.
In these cases, the first step would be to have an initial dental appointment in order to identify the origin of the colour change and assess the existing colour. Then it is a matter of choosing the whitening technique that most suits your case. Dental whitening should always be supervised by your dentist, and most clinical studies have found that this is a safe and highly recommendable procedure. We also find this to be true, both from our experience as from the high degree of satisfaction our patients have shown.
The procedure might be a combination of sessions at the clinic and also at home treatment, with mouthguard-like trays, filled with a bleaching gel that we will provide you, together with simple how-to instructions. In this case, the bleaching agent will be carbamide peroxide.
Another procedure we may use is the bleaching done exclusively at the clinic, which is much more comfortable for the patient. It can be completed in 1 or 2 visits, depending on the case, of only 45 minutes. We will prep the area, placing a gel that is activated with the light of a whitening lamp.
The active ingredient of this photoactivated bleaching agent is hydrogen peroxide.
When activated through light, this hydrogen peroxide penetrates the enamel and dentine, brightening the coloured tubules without modifying the tooth structure.
How long do results last?
Once the desired shade is obtained, colour should be stabilised and maintained by applying proper brushing twice daily, flossing and using interdental brushes, as well as fluorinated whitening pastes we recommend.