Tooth whitenng or bleaching is a procedure whereby a chemical is placed on the teeth to change the shade of the teeth so that is will appear whiter. Tooth whitening can be divided into In-clinic whitening or take-home whitening.
The procedure is done in the dental clinic. The dentist will place the chemicals on the teeth and shine an intense light onto the chemicals to whiten the teeth. The chemicals are usually at a higher concentration and the effects of whitening is more striking. The duration of the procedure varies between patients.
In take-home whitening, the dentist will first take a mould of the patient’s teeth so as to make a transparent whitening tray. The dentist will then prescribed the chemicals (usually in lower concentration as compared to in-clinic whitening) together with the whitening tray to the patient. The dentist will give specific instructions on how to use the chemicals and whitening tray. The patient will then follow the instructions and the dentist will review the results in a follow up visit.
“How long can the tooth whitening last”
How long the tooth whitening last depends on the patient’s diet. Patient should abstain from curry, red wine or smoking immediately post tooth whitening. Frequent consumption of food that could discolour the teeth will darken the teeth. In our clinic, we will prescribe a set of take-home whitening kit to patient undergoing in-clinic whitening so that they can perform the whitening procedure every 6 months by themselves so as to maitntain the results of whitening for a longer period of time.
“Is there any side effects in tooth whitening”
Patients usually feel that the teeth are more sensitive after the whitening procedure. However, the sensitivity will subside in a few days time. Patients who have problems with teeth sensitivity or are pregnant should consult the dentist before undergoing the procedure. Other than that tooth whitenng is a safe procedure.