Tooth whitening is the most conservative method of improving the appearance of teeth. It is a totally harmless method if performed under medical supervision. It consists of the application of a whitening gel in a transparent splint, intimately adapted to the teeth, in order to oxidize the pigments that have accumulated on the surface of the enamel, without damaging the tooth structure. As a result of this oxidation, oxygen is removed in the form of water, resulting in some sensitivity after the removal of the splint. This sensitivity is transitory as the teeth are quickly rehydrated by the saliva.

Why do teeth change colour?

The alterations of the color can be produced by multiple causes; pathologies like caries, bruxism or alterations of the development, coloration by aging, deposit of substances in the surface of the tooth (tobacco, tea, coffee, wine), old fillings, traumatisms and certain medicines (tetracyclines). Before carrying out the whitening process, it is advisable to have clean dental surfaces, to show correct hygiene, healthy gums and absence of caries. In addition, relative and absolute contraindications should be taken into account.

How is tooth whitening done?

It consists of applying a small dose (one drop) of whitening gel to the inside of the clear splint and placing it in your mouth as if it were a mouth guard.
The gel is active for 3 hours, however it is advisable to use it all night to achieve a more homogeneous result.
Once the splint is removed, rinse it with water and brush your teeth with warm water to minimize sensitivity.
In case of sensitivity, you can stop using the whitener one night and/or put a gel with fluoride (Sensigel de Pierre-Fabre) inside.
In case of gum irritation, stop the whitening treatment for a few days and apply Dentimelo Oral Gel (hyaluronic acid) to the irritated area until it returns to normal. Gum irritation is likely during treatment.
The color change will be visible from the first days of application and should be continued with the same procedure until the patient is satisfied (compared to the teeth in the lower arch).
The acquired color change is permanent, although it is recommended to have some extra syringe of whitening gel to make small “touch-ups” of one or two nights, whenever the patient considers it appropriate, to eliminate future stains that may appear.

What is cold light bleaching?

In case of a more intense colouring, the whitening can be done with cold light (Quickwhite), always in the dental clinic. The concentration of the bleaching agent is higher than that used in the external bleaching technique and can therefore lead to greater sensitivity.
The technique consists first of protecting the gums and then applying the whitening agent, which is activated by applying a halogen plasma arc light (cold light), for 8 minutes. Generally, 3 changes of material are made until the desired colour is achieved.
Afterwards, a diamond paste is applied to polish the tooth and close the dental tubule, reducing sensitivity.
Once the whitening has been carried out, it is advisable to use the splints with the gel at home for a few days to achieve greater colour stability.
In some cases, an increase in sensitivity to temperature appears in certain people, which manifests itself in the form of dental hypersensitivity. This hypersensitivity is reversible and disappears once the treatment is stopped.

What is internal bleaching?

It consists of lightening a previously endodonted tooth that for different reasons has lost its original color and has become darker.
It is a simple and conservative technique, with unbeatable aesthetic results, since the external anatomy of the tooth is preserved intact.
It requires few visits and the rinsing is permanent, although small relapses may occur over time.
The method consists of the combination of a chemical agent (administered in the clinic on a weekly basis) and an energy source, which in this case is a plasma arc halogen light, to accelerate the chemical process.
The chemicals used are capable of filtering through the enamel, so the internal tissue undergoes an oxidation process, which results in a rinse.
The intensity of the rinsing will depend on each patient, their teeth and their care.
The duration of the treatment is approximately one hour, with three brief pauses to renew the whitening product that we deposit on the teeth.

Bleaching contraindications

  • Anterior teeth with infiltrated fillings (relative)
  • Teeth with cavities (absolute)
  • Mouth with very swollen gums (absolute)
  • Anterior teeth with fixed prosthesis (relative).
  • Young teeth (relative)
  • During pregnancy (absolute)
  • Hypersensitive teeth (relative)
  • Deeply cracked teeth (absolute)