Whitening allows getting rid of impurities and discolorations of various origins from the enamel’s interprismatic space through a chemical oxidation reaction. The active agent of this process is hydrogen peroxide or urea peroxide. Bleaching is carried out under the supervision of a professional and qualified hygienist responsible for the patient’s health and achievement of the intended effects.
Contraindications for the teeth whitening procedure include:
- Young age,
- Addiction to alcohol, tobacco or drugs,
- Gum and periodontal diseases,
- Exposed cervical and dental roots,
- Extreme hypersensitivity to cold or warm temperatures,
- Presence of cavities resulting from developing caries
- Possible allergic reaction to whitening agents.
Tooth whitening can be carried out in two ways used in our office, which are slightly different from each other in terms of the patient’s method of action and involvement.
Teeth whitening in the office
Before starting the whitening process, the hygienist compares the initial colour of the patient’s teeth with the colour of the teeth after removing the material from the enamel. After careful teeth cleaning, the hygienist protects the patient’s eyes with glasses, separates cheeks from teeth and protects the patient’s mucous membrane with light-curing resin. Then she applies a thin layer of whitening agent with a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide to the teeth, which is activated by means of a lamp. For the effect to be maximally satisfactory, it is recommended that it remains on the teeth for about 15-20 minutes. After the treatment, the preparation is removed using a suction and spray, and the Patient rinses his/her mouth with lukewarm water and undergoes a fluoridation treatment, which endures the effect of postoperative tooth hypersensitivity.
After the whitening process, the patient receives oral and written postoperative recommendations from the hygienist, such as daily diet elements that require temporary elimination (the so-called white diet). The color stabilization period lasts about 2 weeks. The effects of whitening are not eternal, as the process of enamel darkening may take up to three years. The patient can maintain the effects by using appropriate toothpaste.
Slip-on teeth whitening
It is an alternative to teeth whitening in the office. This method requires the patient to wear a special splint filled with whitening preparation for several hours during the night, for 10 nights. After removing the overlay, the patient should always wipe and rinse the teeth and clean and dry the splint.
Before starting the whitening process, it is necessary to consult a dentist who, while interviewing with a patient, learns in detail the state of the patient’s health, expectations regarding the whitening effects and draws attention to possible contraindications. It should also be remembered that after the procedure, the above-mentioned dentin hypersensitivity and gum irritation may occur. However, these are short-term effects and usually only a few days after the entire procedure is completed.
It is also necessary to remember that the whitening effect is extremely difficult to predict and depends not only on the degree of discoloration on the dentition but also on the tooth structure elements, such as its enamel.