Tooth Whitening Procedures for Patients in the Dental Office

Staining of teeth is very common nowadays; this happens because of certain foods and drinks as well as environmental factors. Tooth whitening procedures are gaining popularity in the aesthetically concerned population because of the unsightliness of stained teeth.

The tooth stains or discolorations can be of two types

Intrinsic staining, which is from inside the enamel and starts in the formative phases of tooth development by the consumption of antibiotics like tetracycline by the mother while the child is in the womb or the consumption of fluoride by the child in his tooth formative years. Extrinsic stains, which are acquired by the consumption of certain food items like coffee or wine. Tobacco consumption also leads to extrinsic stains.

Tooth whitening procedures – Tooth whitening procedures at the dental office may include the use of bleaching agents or mild abrasive techniques. A well-qualified professional can judge the extent of discoloration of the tooth and can hence decide the method of tooth whitening required. Tooth whitening with bleaching agents can lead to sensitivity of teeth, so it should be done with caution and the use of tooth whitening toothpastes at home should be avoided because it can lead to serious consequences with time. As is already mentioned, every discoloration is not the same, so a patient should discuss about his/her treatment options with the dental professional. Visit this website to be informed about whitening procedures.

The bleaching procedures done by the dentists include

  1. Power bleaching or in office power bleaching technique – It is used on patients where immediate results are sought. It often uses hydrogen peroxide and a laser light to activate it while the gums are protected by rubber dam isolation. Disadvantages include a longer time at a dental clinic plus the increased expenses. Also the teeth might initially look whiter because of dehydration but go to a darker shade over a couple of days.
  2. Home tooth whitening – It is a procedure in which dental appointment is done and customized trays and bleach that containcarbamide peroxide is given to the patient for home bleaching at nighttime. Disadvantages include the patient cooperation and the slightly longer time taken for the results to show,which might not work for patients who require immediate results.

Non-bleaching tooth whitening procedures include

  1. Micro-abrasion
  2. Air abrasion- mild current of alumina particles are directed towards the discolored tooth and removes the stain.