Teeth Whitening is a process to improve the colour of your tooth. It can remove organic stains or intrinsic tooth discolouration caused by consumption of certain food and beverages. The procedure will lighten the teeth and make your tooth sparkle and white. People who brush more vigorously may remove some enamel from the teeth, causing discolouration and other serious dental problems.
What Causes Staining Of Teeth?
Teeth are porous and made of hollow tube-like structures called dentine tubules. Staining happens when the enamel picks up stains from food and beverages through the dentine tubules. Acidic food and beverages like carbonated drinks and red wine erode the enamel and will increase the pick-up rate of stains from other food substances. Some stains are also caused by pigments embedded in plague that has become coloured. Nonetheless, extrinsic stains caused by food and beverages are usually reversible and can be done by good oral care, professional cleaning and whitening treatment.
Two Main Forms Of Teeth Whitening
- Chair side / in-office Teeth Whitening
- Take Home Teeth Whitening
Our dentist will take an impression of the patient’s teeth and custom make a set of trays that will specially fit your teeth. This will ensure that the whitening gel that will be used can be snugly applied onto your teeth and not spill over to your gums and tongue. Our Dentist will allocate and prescribe the concentration of bleaching gel to be used after assessing the teeth condition. The tray with gel has to be worn for 6 hours a day for about 5 days to 2 weeks.
Our dentist will perform the scaling process with a combination of hand and motorised instruments (such as an ultrasonic tip, which vibrates at high frequency to remove tartar) and the polishing process with a high speed brush or rubber cup together with special cleaning pastes. The debris which is removed by this process cannot be removed by daily brushing habits alone.
A lot of water is used to cool the scaling tools and to wash away the debris as it is removed. The dentist will then use a suction pipe to suck away the excess water during the process. Tooth scaling can sometimes be sensitive, especially if your gums have receded and the top of the root of the tooth is exposed. Depending on severity, the dentist can give you an injection to numb each area of your mouth to minimise the sensitivity. However, this will require more than one visit as it is impossible to numb the whole mouth at a go.
Benefits of Whitening
Most people feel that whiter teeth projects a more youthful and attractive smile, enhancing their self-confidence both at work as well as their social lives.
A proper examination and diagnosis will be conducted by our dentist before the procedure. Teeth and gum tissues should be healthy and acceptable for treatment before starting the teeth whitening procedure.
Our dentist will then take an impression of the patient’s teeth and custom make a set of trays that will specially fit your teeth. This will ensure that the whitening gel that will be used can be snugly applied onto your teeth and not spill over to your gums and tongue. Our Dentist will allocate and prescribe the concentration of bleaching gel to be used after assessing the teeth condition. The tray with gel has to be worn for 6 hours a day for about 5 days to 2 weeks.
FAQs on Whitening
1. How long is the actual chair side teeth whitening procedure?
The time taken for the actual chair side teeth whitening procedure is about 45 minutes to an hours. In most cases, results can be seen immediately.
2. Is it painful?
The teeth whitening process is normally painless. However, a proper examination and diagnosis will be conducted by our dentist before the procedure. Teeth and gum tissues should be healthy and acceptable for treatment before starting the teeth whitening procedure. For example, decayed teeth should be filled up before the teeth whitening procedure.
3. Are there any side effects after the procedure?
Generally, patients can expect “sensitivity” within the first 24 hours after the procedure. Some people may experience a minor dull ache and temporary teeth sensitivity. However, this sensation can be reduced with a desensitising agent like Tooth Mousse and painkillers like Paracetamol.
4. How is this procedure compared to teeth whitening toothpaste, as per advertisements?
One of the hardest substances in our body is the outer enamel layer on our teeth and therefore the concentration of the bleaching agent (usually in the form of peroxide) must be high enough for the procedure to take effect.
5. How can I reduce staining caused by food and beverages?
Beverages like coffee, tea, red wine and fruit juices can cause teeth staining. To reduce the effects of teeth staining, you should:
– Brush your teeth after eating
– Use a straw when drinking
– Finish the drink in one sitting rather than sip the drink throughout the day.
6. How long will the effect last?
The effects of teeth whitening procedure will last between 18 to 24 months on average, depending on your lifestyle habits, oral hygiene and access to routine dental care
7. Does Teeth Whitening work for everybody?
No. Teeth whitening products work best on natural teeth with no fillings or crowns. Teeth with stains that are caused by antibiotics will not see much improvement. People with unhealthy teeth, gum recession and exposed roots, worn out teeth or faulty fillings will feel sensitivity more easily than those without. Please consult our dentist to find out which method is best for you.
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