Do you know what makes a smile more gorgeous? Two words—BRIGHT and WHITE.
A lot of my patients are really eager about having their teeth whitened. Among the choices of tooth-whitening procedures, dental bleaching, in the Philippines, is one of the most popular among the options because of it being the most conservative and most economical among the others. Since there is a demand for more information regarding dental bleaching, let me share some of my knowledge regarding this aspect of cosmetic dentistry.
Of course, teeth discoloration will always be part of our lives. No matter how cautious we are when it comes to taking care of our teeth and in maintaining proper oral hygiene, every one of us will develop stains as a result of the food that we eat, the medications that we take, and other lifestyle habits that we partake in, like smoking and drinking.
What are the causes of tooth discoloration?
When you pay a visit to my clinic with this type of concern, we have to properly diagnose first what is the cause of your tooth discoloration. There are two reasons why a tooth gets stained—what we call extrinsic stains and intrinsic stains. Extrinsic stains are caused by prolonged exposure from colored foods and beverages (such as tea, red wine, coffee, and foods rich in soy sauce, etc.) or cigarettes This kind of stain can be easily and thoroughly removed with professional cleaning or oral prophylaxis. The second one, which is the extrinsic stain, is associated with systemic problems, which usually begins when you are still young and starting tooth formation. Conditions such as being born premature, having low birth weight, and developing measles and mumps at an early age can affect your teeth. Also, the use of drugs like tetracycline when you were still inside the womb can be a factor for this type of stain.
How does bleaching work?
The application of dental bleaching products consists of two agents—either Carbamide Peroxide or Hydrogen Peroxide. These two agents have been used by dentists for the past twenty years and by far have the most promising results. There are two choices given to you when you choose to have your teeth bleached. These are at-home bleaching kits and the in-office bleaching procedure, which is the most common among bleaching treatments.
- Home Bleaching. This type of dental bleaching treatment allows you to bleach your teeth at the comfort of your own home. Your dentist will tailor a clear tray for your mouth, and then you will apply the bleaching agent — usually 10% Carbamide Peroxide — and apply on the tray included in the kit and wear it, following on the directions given in the kit. Some will be instructed to wear it for a few hours and some overnight. Then you have to repeat these steps for a few days, depending on your dentist’s and the manufacturer’s instructions.
This type of bleaching is easy to use, and the bleaching agent Carbamide Peroxide usually has a lower concentration than Hydrogen Peroxide and is allowed to remain on one’s teeth for an hour or even longer. There is significant effectiveness when using this type of bleaching product, and it can be seen after two to six weeks.
- In-Office Bleaching. One disadvantage of the at-home dental bleaching is that you have to wait for a much longer time, usually weeks, before you see the final result. For the in-office option, you will immediately see the results after about 60–90 minutes. The entire treatment is done in the dental office and completed in about an hour. A much higher concentration of the bleaching agent is used for this treatment. Usually 35% of Hydrogen Peroxide is applied to your teeth to have that whitened effect. In addition to that, a light source, such as laser or a blue light, is used for speeding up the bleaching process.
Of course, my patients here at BrightSmile Avenue are concerned about the side effects of dental bleaching, but let me tell you that scientific studies have not shown any evidence that dental bleaching is detrimental to one’s teeth. The most common complications after undergoing this procedure are teeth sensitivity and gum irritation, but it is just temporary and is usually felt for only a few days and can be avoided if safely executed.
For more questions and concerns regarding this treatment, please call BrightSmile Avenue at 6212556.