Known as the dental bleaching or whitening, the procedure is actually more of an aesthetic-cosmetic treatment than a dental-medical one. Patients can find many variations of it on the market. Without going deeply into this topic, I would like to give some further informations about the bleaching process and its effects. This is information that we always tell the patients before treatment begins.
Basically, we do two types of bleaching. The first one, called home-whitening, is when a patient buys the whitening material and using one of various processes uses it at home. The processes referred to here cover a wide spectrum from the cheap, “lighting in the mouth” to the use of a tray that is made individually for the patient and is filled for a certain period of time with whitening material.
The second type of whitening methods is done by a dental-hygenist or dentist in the clinic, takes aproximetly 1,5 hours, and the bleaching material is lighted 3-4 times with a high quality lamp. The entire process is closely monitored by the dentist or dental assistant.
BUT! I want to clarify that the result we get using this process is not always the same as we can see in the promotions. The level of the lightening depends on many factors such as the original color and shade of the teeth where yellowish teeth get lighter easier than grayish-colored teeth. Other important factors affecting the permanency of the change depends on things such as the patient’s habits like smoking, drinking coffee, or exhibiting or not exhibiting other discoloration practices.
The pictures above show the before-after color of teeth of a patient who have had a whitening treatment. This was a best case scenario as the patient only had yellowish discoloration and no habits causing discoloration. The second picture was taken after a month and the color remained completely unchanged – which is ideal.
One additional thing may be said. During and after the bleaching process the teeth are sensitive for a few days and that can be uncomfortable for patients. But, the enamel of the teeth is not damaged and some easy and practical methods can be used to reduce both the level of pain and the period of recovery.