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Tooth Whitening

GENERAL INFO

Did you know that most yellow teeth are actually caused by microscopic fungai?

Teeth which are coffee stained or especially cigarette stained look gross and unhygenic.

The desire for whiter teeth is a recent phenomenon.

Why Whiten Your Teeth?

  • Women like it
  • Much more hygenic
  • Positive body image
  • Improves your smile
  • Increases sex appeal
  • Increases self esteem
  • An absolute must do if you deal face to face with people, especially in sales. (nothing sells like confidence)

Did you know that in some countries ...

In ancient Japanese there was a custom of decorative tooth staining called "OHAGURO" which produced a set of deep brown or black teeth.

Ohaguro (お歯黒) is a fashion of dying one's teeth black. It was most popular in Japan until the Meiji era (1868 - 1912), as well as in the southeastern parts of China and Southeast Asia. While dyeing the teeth was mainly done by married women, some men occasionally did it as well.

Although rarely, it still occurs to this day in some asian countries.

The Mayan civilization filled teeth with jadelite inlays.

Berry and "Beetle Nut" juice is still commonly used today in many Asian countries and Pacific island societies to produce a smile of red which is considered to be more attractive than the natural tooth colour.

From black to white

However, in today's society, with our desire to emulate our youth with perfect images of airbrushed models appearing in the media has created a demand for bleached white teeth.

Why just look OK when you can look brilliant?

In-Chair Bleaching

In-chair bleaching without special trays is available in this surgery. It requires one or two visits only and is a faster way to achieve tooth whitening.After lip and gumline protection is achieved using specials gels and retraction, a strong gel is placed over the teeth to be bleached 2-4 times and left there for various intervals after which it is sucked off the teeth and reapplied.

This gives excellent results. A white light is used to accelerate the bleaching. The light uses the same technology as that used to cure composite fillings.

It is not a laser light and so there is little heating above 37 degrees celcius which may lessen post operative sensitivity.

If you need professional teeth whitening, please contact us today.

UNSUPERVISED BLEACHING RISKS

There may be nothing wrong with over the counter products available to the public, but the risk is gum damage if proper custom trays are not made. It is the wrongly applied, it is unsupervised application of the tooth whitening products which is the main cause of most gum problems.

The amount of bleach used must be measured (and for this you need to be shown) to prevent excess bleach burning the gums.

Tooth sensitivity may result from strong bleach solutions, and receding gums exposing dentine and cementum are a predisposing factor to sensitivity.

Excessive bleaching either by being indiscriminate in choosing which teeth to bleach, or it causes drying out of the enamel which subsequently causes desiccation to the enamel.

Thus it is highly recommended that your dentist do the first episode of bleaching, and follow up visits be done as required. Special trays should be made first by taking casts of the upper and lower teeth.

The trays are essential to contain the bleach solution to prevent the damage to gums. In the surgery, the patient is shown how much bleach to place into the trays. Excess bleach is wiped away from the gums above the trays immediately on application.

Benefits

Bleaching is for people who have a desire for whiter teeth without the demand for "Hollywood white". Good candidates are those whose do not have extremely sensitive teeth or large pulp canals.

Today in our practice we offer a variety of different tooth bleaching kits, so that even the more sensitive mouth can be treated without long-term complications.

There are a range of different bleaching kits which vary in the concentration of the active ingredients. Some are used for half to one hour a day twice a day for two weeks. Others are used once a day for five days. Some are overnight for a week.

The ideal way is to have your dentist apply the first intense bleach application in the chair having first made you a set of custom trays. This way you can be shown how to apply the bleach at home to further the colour change as required and bleaching can be tailored to your individual needs.

We include a custom made set of trays with the bleaching kit, and strongly recommend the use of a stannous fluoride toothpaste to reduce post treatment sensitivity. Before the first treatment in chair, the teeth are professionally cleaned and then they are fluoridated.

It is important that the patient relate any sensitivity or changes to their gums from the first home care treatment immediately to their dentist. This will avoid any problems from occurring.

It may be as simple as using too much of the bleach solution. It is better to be conservative with bleaching than to overdo it and burn your gums.

Lastly remember that to achieve permanent change to tooth colour, your teeth need to be crowned. To prolong the time - interval required rebleaching teeth refrain from smoking and drinking copious amounts of tea, coffee and red wine.

After treatment it is recommended that the patient have at least two to four professional cleans a year to maintain stain free teeth.

Non-vital bleaching of individual teeth

When there is a single dead front tooth that requires bleaching a whole is drilled into the back of the tooth, cotton wool with a special solution on it is placed in the tooth and reviewed on a weekly basis until the desired shade is reached.

As much internal stain is removed as possible by the dentist from inside the tooth before bleaching is begun. It is important that the root canal below the cotton wool be carefully sealed off to prevent contamination of the root canal during internal bleaching.

  • In summary, external bleaching can be done at the dentists surgery or at home
  • It requires special trays
  • In chair It is necessary to clean teeth first
  • Then place custom trays loaded with bleach in the mouth for half to one hour
  • Fluoridate after bleaching
  • At home Dependent on the product
  • Varies from a few days to two weeks

The picture on the right was done using "natural" laser light for 40 minutes only on the right canine, the right central incisor tooth, the left central incisor tooth and the left lateral which was a composite veneer over a dead discoloured tooth.

After bleaching I waited 10 days before restoring the gu lines with charisma composite fillings as required.


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