What exactly is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is removal of all stains and discoloration, making the teeth whiter and shinier.
Why do teeth lose their natural shade overtime?
Zubi vremenom menjaju boju zahvaljujući mnogobrojnim faktorima koji na to utiču. Oni uzrokuju pojavu mrlja i prebojenosti, kako na površini zuba, tako i na njihovim unutrašnjim slojevima.
There are two types of discoloration:
1. Extrinsic – Basic shade of our teeth comes from the enamel – the intrinsic, mineralized layer. The enamel is formed during pregnancy. At the beginning of life, the natural shade of teeth is predominantly lighter, i.e. white. However, overtime, the teeth turn to a yellowish shade due to the following factors:
- Bad oral hygiene which fails to remove the debris of plaque, causing the presence of tartar, making it hard to remove.
- Consummation of tobacco, which contains tar - a toxic stainer.
- Intake of coloured food and beverages – Coca-Cola, coffee, tea.
2. Intrinsic – Some discolorations occur in deeper layers of teeth, encompassing their inner part – the dentin. These changes are due to:
- Excessive exposure to fluorides during childhood.
- Use of tetracycline antibiotics by the mother during pregnancy
- Use of tetracycline antibiotics in early childhood, until the age of 8.
- Certain conditions – dentinogenesis imperfecta – due to which the enamel didn’t develop properly and is prone to decay.
- Dental trauma that happened at some point in life.
What should be done when tooth discoloration happens?
If you have noticed stains or discoloration on your teeth, it is best that you scheduled your appointment with your dentist. He will do the dental exam and explain everything you need to know about the condition of your teeth and prospective whitening procedure.
At your Stomatologist
- Firstly, the stomatologist will do the oral exam of your mouth and teeth and identify any potential existence of tooth decay or gum disease.
- He/she will then determine whether you are the right candidate for tooth whitening or you need to resolve the current teeth issues first.
- Prior to any intervention, the stomatologist would remove the tartar (calculus) and polish your teeth.
- He/she may make some photos of your teeth, so you can compare the results before and after tooth whitening process together.
Tooth Whitening Methods
1. In-office teeth whitening
This method is for many patients the simplest one, because they leave the dental clinic with a new whiter shade.
The stomatologist will cover your gums with a special gel, and shine a light on it to protect the gel from the bleaching product.
Then, the bleaching product is applied, usually carbamide peroxide, a common bleaching agent in concentration of 35%. It can be additionally activated with the use of lamp to speed up the whitening process.
After 15-30 minutes, the stomatologist checks the results of the procedure. If the patient is content, the protective gel is removed and the procedure is completed. Otherwise, the procedure is repeated one more time, until the desired tooth shade is achieved.
2. Home whitening
Professional home bleaching should not be mixed with “do-it-yourself” whitening products.
During your first visit, the stomatologist will take impressions of your jaws so our technician can make a set of trays for teeth whitening. These are special trays with reservoirs for the bleaching agent. Besides the trays, the patient also receives a home bleaching kit. Nowadays gels contain a smaller percentage of carbamide peroxide – 16%, making this whitening method less invasive.
Your doctor will explain to you in detail how to use the kit. It is crucial that you comply with these instructions, in order to achieve the desired effect.
Most commonly, gel containing trays are worn at night during several days, followed by a seven day break. The procedure is repeated until the desired teeth shade is achieved.
After two weeks, you should visit your stomatologist, so he/she can evaluate the results of the therapy.
What results can we expect?
- There is no proof that teeth whitening is harmful if done under the supervision of the stomatologist. Still, some patients report tooth sensitivity after the treatment, which disappears after a few days or weeks.
- Provisional sensitivity and gum irritation can occur.
- Sometimes the desired shade cannot be achieved even after the treatment is completed. This depends on the structure and construction of the teeth.
- It should be mentioned that the acquired shade is not permanent and that whitening should be repeated periodically, if the desired shade is to be maintained overtime.
“Do-it-yourself” methods to avoid
As it happens, the most common homemade mix for teeth bleaching consists of citric acid and baking soda. You should know that this mixture is detrimental for your tooth enamel. It softens the enamel and speeds up its aging. It causes the micro-fissures to appear and makes your tooth susceptible to external conditions.
Even though, at the first glance, this method gives you the result of “lighter teeth”, it is bad for your teeth and should be avoided.
Teeth whitening - price
Teeth whitening of both jaws costs RSD 15,000. The price refers to both in-office and home bleaching methods.
It’s really easy to have a pretty smile!
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