As we grow older, our once bright white teeth naturally start to become dull as the enamel degrades over time and the yellowish dentin below becomes visible. In addition to genetics,habits such as frequently drinking coffee, red wine or smoking cigarettes can discolor the tooth enamel. Trauma to the teeth or root canal treatments can also discolor the teeth and cause them to become gray after the pulp and nerves inside the tooth die and start to decay. A safe and popular remedy for this is tooth whitening, also referred to as tooth bleaching. This procedureremoves permanent discoloration to whiten teeth to varying degrees, depending on the method used and the condition of the teeth.
Dental whitening methods you should know
- In-office whitening: Professional whitening or in-office whitening is carried out in the dentist’s office. Before the treatment, the dentist removes discolorations and stains with professional teeth cleaning techniques. The dentist usually applies a special tooth bleaching agent to the teeth and irradiates it with a polymerization light or a laser. Light and heat activate the bleach. The bleach is then rinsed off and the teeth are coated with a fluorine gel to protect them. The bleaching takes about 1 hour and can be repeated 1-3 times until the desired tooth color is achieved.
- Home whitening: As the name implies, home whitening is done at home. Some home whitening products can be bought at drug stores and pharmacies and self-applied. However, home whitening can also be done with a splint from the dentist. The dentist cleans the teeth and takes dental impressions of the upper and lower jaw. The impressions are sent to a dental laboratory, where a custom bleaching tray is prepared. There are also sets with which you can take impressions yourself and send them in. The splint is then worn every other night for 5 nights. The treatment is then completed after 10 days.
- Internaltooth whitening: This tooth bleaching method also takes place in a dental practice. This whitening is carried out on individual dead and discolored teeth. To do this, a small hole is drilled, infected or dead pulp and nerves are removed and the bleaching agent is introduced into the tooth. The bleach will then remain in the tooth for a few days. Once the desired result is achieved, the tooth is sealed with a filling. Several sessions are often necessary for this.
Keep in mind that only a dentist can let you know if your teeth and gums are healthy enough to go through a tooth bleaching process.If you are considering teeth whitening, be sure to consultwith one of ourexperienced dentists first.