Dental bleaching is a dental cosmetic treatment. The erupting teeth after the change of dentition are usually lighter in colour than later in adulthood. This is partly a natural process, it is caused by the changes in the crystal structure of the teeth, but in some cases the process can happen more rapidly due to lifestyle and damages caused by medication. Strongly colouring foods and drinks (e.g. red wine, coffee, tea) or smoking is a good example for this.
The light colour meeting the patient’s expectations is reached by dental bleaching, for which several methods exist, but the clinical, speeded, and home tooth whitening is the most mainstream. We use oxidizing agents (hydrogen peroxide, or carbamide peroxide), which enters between the rod-like crystals of the teeth, oxidizing (whitening) the plaque between the enamel prisms. In the clinical, speeded process the agent is completed by light or ultrasound which speeds up the process significantly. With this the impact will also be greater, increasing the chance of appearing complaints and side effects after and during the treatment. The effect of the tooth whitening will remain for months, but depends on above mentioned lifestyle choices.
A special category within the discoloured teeth is the inner discolouration, when the teeth become grey or darker because of necrosis caused by accident, or root canal therapy. For this kind of discolouring we use internal bleaching. We insert similar agents into the crown part of the teeth and let it have an effect for days in many periods.
A side-effect of all the bleaching agents is that they wounds the surrounding mucous membrane and make the teeth sensitive. These effects disappear in most cases, but they require careful treatment, and have to be supervised by a specialist. The faster is the process, the more possible that these side-effects occur, or that they are serious. Some agents already contain crystals, a component of teeth that reduces the sensibility caused by whitening agents. Together with a slow, gentle method the aimed level of whiteness can be reached, moreover, combined with calcium/phosphate based whitening agents the sensitive tooth neck can be avoided. Noticeably, the effect of the slower methods is longer lasting than that of the clinical light teeth whitening. Any dental bleaching is proceeded by sufficient oral examination, and, when needed, with oral care treatment.
When the desired result is not attainable by these methods, we can choose from the other services of aesthetic dentistry, for example porcelain cases, metal-free crowns.