Thinking of a teeth whitening procedure?
What is a whitening procedure?
Whitening procedure is a minimally- invasive procedure done either at home or in a clinical setting to get your teeth whiter with the use of a peroxide material either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
When do we do a whitening procedure, when is it indicated?
Whitening procedures tend to be an elective procedure, to brighten your smile. However, at times it would be very beneficial to bleach or whitening your teeth before doing any cosmetic procedures like veneers (Hollywood smile), or after orthodontic treatment.
What are the different types of Whitening procedures?
1- Chair-side whitening with utilizing light
2- Chair-side whitening without the utilizing light
3- Home bleaching
4- Internal bleaching (bleaching a single tooth from the inside)
What are some potential side effects of whitening procedures?
- Minor sensitivity of teeth, especially lower teeth.
- Bleached gingiva (Would go away in approximately 1 hour).
- Sore throat.
What should I not do after a whitening procedure?
- Remember, the whitening process continues for 3 days after the whitening procedure, so avoid any colored drinks or foods.
- Do not drink any colored drinks (e.g., Coffee, tea, red wine etc.).
- Avoid any cold drinks in the first week after bleaching.
Is there a difference between light or non-light whitening procedures?
There is some research that suggests decrease in sensitivity of the teeth with non-light procedures.
What is home bleaching?
It is a lower concentration of the chairside bleaching, which range between 10% to 20%.
You would be made custom bleaching trays from your local dentist and place the material in the custom bleaching trays and where them for the recommended bleaching time.
Home bleaching kits tend to be a great booster of chairside whitening, which is why dentists recommend the home bleaching kit after chairside bleaching to maximize the whitening and increasing the longevity of the whitening from 6 months to up to 2 years.
How do I use the home bleaching kit?
- Follow instructions on label, Use no more than 1/3 to ½ of the syringe, or one bulb per tray.
- Brush teeth before inserting tray.
- Opalescence Materials
- Wear Opalescence 10% for 8-10 hours or overnight,
- Opalescence 15% for 4-6 hours,
- Opalescence 20% for 2-4 hours, and
- Opalescence 35% for thirty minutes.
- Remove excess gel with clean. Rinse, do not swallow rinsed gel. If significant sensitivity occurs, stop treatment and call Abu Dhabi (02 575 1856) or Al Ain branch (03 7643273).
- After bleaching, clean tray with a brush different than your toothbrush and rinse.
Are there any bleaching precautions?
- Pregnant women should not bleach.
- Don’t use tobacco products or eat while bleaching.
- White spots will get whiter as the bleaching process makes the whole tooth whiter.
- Restorations do not get bleached
- Crowns and Veneers do not get bleached.
- If you have multiple restorations, the recommendation is bleaching the teeth then changing the restorations to the new acquired color and maintaining the color with the home kit.
Is there any other information I need to know before bleaching my teeth?
- Most patients experience sensitivity with bleaching.
- Some patients have noticed temporary discomfort of the gums, lips, throat or tongue. These side effects will usually subside within 1-3 days after treatment is discontinued.
- Tea, Coffee, or any form of oral tobacco (chewable, snuff or smoke) can re-stain your teeth.
- Regular check-ups are important to maintain the health of your teeth.
Dr. Rami Albahri DDS, MMSc.