Everyone likes their teeth looking white. White teeth enhance your smile. They add to your good facial expression. If your teeth are not white, they can be whitened by undergoing clinical procedure – teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is part of cosmetic dentistry. Whitening teeth removes stains from their surface. This article discusses tooth whitening briefly.
Causes for discoloration of teeth:
Discoloration of teeth may be because of of three factors:
- Intrinsic causes
- Extrinsic causes
- Local causes
Intrinsic stains causes discoloration of teeth due to changes in the human body. These include
Usage of drugs like tetracyclins
Drinking of excess fluoride containing water
Trauma – damage of enamel causes discoloration of teeth
Extrinsic stains are due to the effect of outer elements on surface of teeth. These include improper brushing, consumption of alcohol and other beverages, smoking and consumption of hot foods
Local causes include pulp necrosis, intrapulp bleeding and aging.
Types and procedure in teeth whitening:
Teeth whitening is of two types:
- Non-vital whitening
- vital whitening
Non- vital whitening:
Non-vital whitening is done for patients who have no live nerve on the tooth – for those having missed teeth. If discoloration of teeth is due to the root canal treatment, it can be whitened by non-vital whitening technique. In this technique, the dentist takes an impression of the teeth whitening agent or gel is applied over the tooth and a filling is placed on them for several hours. This should be done daily once until the tooth regains its natural color.
Vital whitening can be done to remove stains caused by extrinsic causes. This technique uses two procedures.
- In-office method
- Home method
This can be done by the dentist in clinic. This is a safer and more effective method. Strong Whitening agents are applied over the surface of the teeth while protecting the gums. The amount of application of gel depends on how discolored your teeth are. Then a beam of laser light is passed onto the surface of the teeth, which increases the penetration of gels into the teeth. This technique effectively whitens the front teeth.
If your teeth is less stains then home method is suitable. In this method dentist takes impressions of upper and lower teeth and dentist customize thin mouth guard. Then apply a piece of Whitening agent over the surface of teeth and wear the mouth guard. This increases the contact of gel with the surface of your teeth. Hydrogen peroxide is the commonly used whitening agent.
Advantages of teeth whitening agents
- Removes stains and discoloration of teeth.
- Increases self-esteem
- This gives teeth healthier appearance
Disadvantages of teeth whitening agents
- It is an expensive technique
- It is not used for false tooth
- Teeth whitening is a temporary technique.
- Whitening agents gives sore gums
- It can cause tooth decay
It’s important to check with dental professionals before you go for teeth whitening, otherwise you may encounter issues that may outweigh the benefits.