What is tooth whitening?
The active ingredients in whitening products are carbamid or hydrogen peroxide. In contact with the tooth, these products remove surface stains and also whiten the tooth in depth. Bleaching can be done at the dental clinic in one appointment, or at home, over a period of about two weeks.
Before proceeding with teeth whitening
Before proceeding with a dental bleaching, it is necessary to clean your teeth and perform a complete examination to make sure you don’t have a defective restorations or caries.
The dentist will also determine the cause of the color change of your tooth, This is a crucial step in ensuring the success of your treatment. The color change may be superficial, caused by an accumulation of tartar and plaque on the tooth. These deposits become discolored over time with the frequent consumption of tobacco products, coffee, tea or red wine.
A simple cleaning and polishing of the teeth can give you a satisfactory result. In other cases, the staining is lodged in the enamel and dentin. The natural aging of the teeth, cavities, the use of tobacco products or the use of certain medications are the causes.
The dentist takes an impression of your teeth to make a stone model. This last one allows to make plastic trays that will be perfectly adapted to your teeth.
A small amount of 16% carbamide peroxide gel is placed in the tray, facing the teeth to be whitened. The tray is worn daily for 60 to 90 minutes. The treatment lasts on average two weeks, but can be prolonged to obtain satisfactory results when staining is stubborn.
For those who want immediate results, we also offer chairside bleaching.
Over-the-counter bleaching products
Various whitening products are available over the counter in pharmacies. These kits come in the form of self-adhesive strips, brush-on products or kits with trays. The active ingredient is similar to that used in dental offices, but at a lower concentration. Adverse reactions of sensitivity and irritation are more common because the shells are not custom-made.
Good to know during your teeth whitening treatment
If you experience sensitivity during your treatment, reduce the duration of the gel application by half or stop for a few days before starting again.
In some cases, it is not possible to completely remove the stains because the stain is resistant to the bleaching product. When the result is not satisfactory, aesthetic restorations (veneers) may be recommended to correct the situation.
In addition, dental materials such as crowns, veneers and composite fillings do not bleach. It is wise to plan on the cost of changing them after whitening so that all teeth are the same shade.