What does Teeth Whitening consist of?
Teeth whitening is one of the treatments with the greatest impact on smile aesthetics, allowing the teeth colour to be changed through a safe, non-invasive procedure, as long as it is properly monitored by an oral health professional. It can be a treatment performed at the clinic or outpatient treatment (at home) using a whitening gel capable of removing the pigments responsible for staining the teeth.
Step by step
We start with a clinical evaluation to ensure the safety and predictability of the treatment and a correct selection of the technique. In this phase, a Scaling procedure is performed to remove external pigments and maintain the health conditions of the gum tissues. It is important to assess, for example, the initial conditions of oral hygiene, the presence of caries lesions, root exposure or gum changes, as well as the presence of restorations or rehabilitations in the aesthetic areas which will be whitened. With a correct evaluation and follow-up by the dentist, it is a completely safe procedure.
When the whitening treament is performed at the clinic, a light is used to activate the whitening product, accelerating the chemical reaction and allowing a faster treatment. At home, the patient should use drips which work as reservoirs for the whitening gel and use them daily for periods that can vary between 2-8 hours. The dentist will keep a close eye on the progress of the treatment throughout the entire process, ensure the correct application of the product and the clinical conditions of the dental and gum tissues.
For the whitening of endodontically treated (root canal treated) teeth – internal whitening, a whitening gel is applied inside the tooth, and the procedure is performed entirely at the clinic.
It is important to follow the initial recommendations, namely limiting the intake of certain chromogenic foods (with higher pigmentation capacity) and following the outpatient treatment instructions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are my teeth yellow?
The coloration of teeth is related to multiple factors, including genetic factors, coloration resulting from endodontic treatments (root canal treatments), pigmentation due to medication, ingestion of certain foods, or even dental wear. The evaluation by the oral health professional of the pigmentation cause is crucial for selecting the correct treatment to be performed and the predictability of the results.
Are there any contraindications to teeth whitening?
Tooth whitening is a medical treatment that should always be performed by an oral health professional precisely because it uses chemical substances with certain concentrations that, in case of application without the supervision of a specialist, can have associated risks. At the YOU Clinic we use concentrations that are completely compatible with oral health and we adapt the treatment materials and techniques to each particular case. Under these conditions, there is no risk of compromising the dental or gum tissues.
The predictability of the treatment begins with a prior evaluation of the oral health status and the identification of certain limiting factors. Such factors may justify initial procedures which will ensure the safety of the entire process. Although it is uncommon, there are certain factors which can represent risk or justify a contraindication for whitening; these should be properly evaluated by an oral health professional.
What are the expected side effects?
The possible side effects of external whitening are sensitive teeth and some temporary gum discomfort, which disappear after the treatment is completed. In certain cases, specific techniques and products can be used to minimize these side effects and ensure the patient’s comfort throughout the treatment.
Will restorations, veneers and crowns also become whiter?
No. No restoration or rehabilitation material will respond to the chemical action of whitening products, so the presence of these materials in aesthetic areas should imply their replacement at the end of the treatment.
What is the difference between whitening pastes and dental whitening performed by an oral health professional?
Whitening toothpastes use abrasive substances to remove stains from the surface of the teeth, which means they do not change the tooth natural colour. They can be a good option in specific cases or for maintaining the results since whitening toothpastes minimize the accumulation of pigment, but only if used according to the indications and under the supervision of an oral health professional. Otherwise, they can cause wear of the tooth surfaces and/or damage in soft tissues. In these cases, problems of tooth hypersensitivity, gum changes, or even a more yellow coloration of the teeth due to dentin exposure can occur.
How long does the whitening last?
The duration of the results obtained depends on multiple factors, most of which are under the patient’s responsibility. It is important to follow the recommendations of the oral health professional and to schedule oral hygiene visits as often as recommended. Smoking habits, lack of oral hygiene care or continued ingestion of foods with strong pigmentation capacity are some of the relapse factors that can justify the need for repeating the treatment.
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