Teeth whiting is a procedure which aims at improving teeth’s appearance by changing their colour. There are two methods of whiting vital teeth: onlay whiting and office whiting with the use of lamp.
Onlay whiting is done by the patient himself /herself after the training with the dentist. At the office, after taking dental impression, the dental technician prepares splints for whiting. They are made of elastic, colourless material. Every day, before going to bed, the patient puts on the splints a whitening gel at appropriate concentration (10-15%). Depending on the desired effect, the patient sleeps in the splints for 7-14 nights. Every day the patient’s teeth become whiter and whiter. In this method, splints can be used again in the future. However, onlay whiting is not recommended for impatient patients and people suffering from teeth oversensitivity.
It is a one-visit procedure, almost painless, which lasts about one hour and the effect is visible at once. Because office whitening is done with the use of a whitening agent of high concentration (35%), the patient’s gingiva need to be isolated with the help of setting gel (so-called a barrier), placed on the tooth-gingiva border. The barrier protects the gingiva from possible harm. The whitening procedure consists in placing the whitening gel three times and exposing each layer with the lamp for 15 minutes. At our dental office, we use the whitening system of Beyond company, which has been the world leader in this field for many years. The blue light emitted by Beyond lamp activates the whitening gel and is absolutely safe for the patient’s teeth. During the procedure and immediately after it, some patients’ teeth are more sensitive to thermal stimuli. This symptom, however, is reversible and passes after one day. Office whitening is recommended because it takes short time, the effects are immediate and it causes little oversensitivity to the patient’s teeth.
The effect of whitening lasts, on average,2 years. Still, depending on the patient’s diet and their hygienic habits, it can be different in different people. But the patient’s teeth never return to the previous colour: they will always be lighter. If necessary, they can be whitened a little just to let the whitening effect last for many years.
It needs to be remembered, however, that the procedure bleaches neither fillings nor prosthetic restorations, i.e. crowns or bridges, and it may be necessary to exchange them for the lighter ones. During the procedure and for some days after, a so-called white diet is required. The teeth are sensitive to food, drink and cigarette smoke pigments, therefore it is necessary to avoid, for example, coffee, tea, red wine, cola, beetroots, tomatoes and cigarettes smoking.
DEAD TEETH WHITENING
It is possible to whiten also dead teeth- discolored after root canal treatment or tooth trauma. Here, a refill with a concentrated whitening agent is placed inside the patient’s tooth for several days. The refill, completely invisible from the outside, is changed 3-4 times. The treatment is finished when the tooth colour becomes similar to the colour of the adjoining teeth, and usually lasts no longer than two weeks.