Tooth Whitening

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Tooth Whitening

In nature the colour and shade of teeth varies greatly from White to Yellow to Gray. Teeth may also discolour from within. For example, the use of certain antibiotics in childhood may affect the colour of teeth. In addition teeth may change colour with age or as a result of trauma. This is known as the Intrinsic Staining of the teeth and it is not affected by brushing and flossing.

On the other hand Extrinsic Stains are those which are present on the surface of the teeth. Plaque and tartar are a common cause of Extrinsic Stains whilst smoking, tea, coffee and red wine along with some medical products can all stain the surface of the enamel. Extrinsic Stains are easily removed by 'Scale and Polish' but Intrinsic Staining requires a completely different approach - Bleaching.

Bleaching of teeth is done by using chemical compounds which release nascent Oxygen and it is thought that Oxidation of the pigmented complexes in the teeth eventually render the pigment fragments colourless, and thus lighten the shade of the teeth.

The Bleaching procedure can be done in different ways.
For fast results, the 'In-Surgery' bleaching procedure can make the teeth lighter in 90 minutes of actual treatment time. Another method is the 'In Home' bleaching in which Bleaching trays and the Bleaching materials are given to patients to be used at homes. Yet another method combines 'Home Bleaching' with 'In Surgery Bleaching' and in our experience this combined approach produces better results.

There are no known long term disadvantages of Bleaching. A common disadvantage is Sensitivity of the teeth but it is usually temporary and resolves after the bleaching procedure is completed. Very occasionally irritation of the gums and mucosa of the mouth may also occur with Bleaching materials. This is also a temporary occurance and resolves soon after Bleaching.

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