Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Welcome to Dr Antony George's Website

My Homepage
bleaching/whitening

CONTENTS:
What are the causes for discolouration of teeth?
What are the treatments for discoloured teeth?
Who are suitable for tooth bleaching?
How is tooth bleaching done?
What is the chemical used for bleaching?
What are the complications seen in tooth bleaching?

Individuals who have discoloured teeth and are not satisfied with the appearance of their teeth, go to great lengths to achieve the perfect smile. Brushing, flossing and regular professional cleaning help by removing the stains and deposits on the surface of the teeth. But for those patients who have dark, yellow, brown or other discoloured teeth, there has never been a simple solution. Ever since the invention of the mirrors, people have been looking for an easy way to have whiter teeth.

What are the causes for discolouration of teeth?
Discolouration of teeth can be broadly classified into two types:

tooth_whitening

What are the treatments for dicoloured teeth?
Different discolouration require different solutions and therefore it is important to have a consultation with a dentist before starting any form of treatment. Most of the extrinsic stains can be removed by simple professional cleaning (Scaling).
Tooth bleaching can be a solution to achieve whiter teeth. This can be done by a dentist in the dental clinic or by the individual at home. The most effective and safest method of tooth bleaching is dentist supervised. Teeth darkened with the color of yellow, brown or orange respond better to bleaching. Bleaching can only provide a shift in color to a lighter shade.
Ceramic (Porcelain) crowns can be used if only a few teeth are involved. This can be the best solution for RCT treated teeth.
Composite Veneering: Composites are special type of tooth coloured resins that can be bonded to the tooth. The thickness of the tooth is reduced and the stains are masked with the help of special opaquers. The required shade of composite material is then veneered and bonded to the tooth.
Porcelain Veneering: These are translucent ultra-thin layer of ceramic material, which are bonded to the front of teeth with the help of dental cements or composites. Porcelain veneers are an excellent alternative to crowns, and in many situations for teeth stained by tetracycline. They provide a much more conservative approach to changing a tooth's colour, size or shape, than a crown. The thickness of the teeth is reduced and an impression made of the mouth. The translucent porcelain veneer is fabricated in a dental lab. On the next visit the veneers are placed on the teeth and the shade of the bonding cement to be used is selected. Then the wafer thin translucent porcelain veneer is bonded to the tooth surface with the help of the selected bonding cement or composite. Porcelain veneers are reasonable facsimiles of natural teeth but may not be the perfect replacements.

tooth_whitening

Who are suitable for tooth bleaching?
Tooth bleaching can be used to achieve whiter teeth. There are many home bleaching kits available in the market. But any person considering using home bleaching products should seek advice from a dentist before starting. This is crucial as home-bleaching treatments may not be effective or preferable for every individual. If you have sensitive teeth, periodontal disease, or teeth with worn enamel (abrasion or attrition), your dentist may discourage bleaching. For the best and safest results the individual should be monitored by the dentist throughout the home bleaching process. Teeth darkened with the color of yellow, brown or orange respond better to bleaching. Other types of gray stains caused by fluorosis, smoking or tetracycline are lightened, but results are not as dramatic.
Tooth bleaching safely lightens the colour of the teeth. Bleaching should last for one to five years, depending on your personal habits such as smoking, drinking black coffee or tea, pan chewing, oral hygiene, etc.

tooth_whitening
bleaching/before       tooth_whitening

How is tooth bleaching done?
The dentist will make impressions of your teeth to fabricate a custom-fitted tray for you. The tray is lightweight and thin so that it can be worn comfortably while you are awake or asleep. You would even be able to talk and work while wearing it. Along with the custom-fitted tray you’ll receive the bleaching materials. You'll be given instructions on how to wear the tray and use the bleaching materials.
Some bleaching systems recommend bleaching your teeth for two to four hours a day. Generally this type of system requires three to six weeks to complete and works best on patients with sensitive teeth. Other systems recommend bleaching at night while you sleep. This type of system usually requires 10-14 days to complete.
If you're in a hurry for whiter teeth, you may decide to have your teeth bleached using an in-office bleaching system. A single tooth or a set of teeth is bleached with a very high concentration of bleaching material. For this you have to visit the dentist regularly for a few days. After a root canal, that tooth may be lightened to match the surrounding teeth with this method. This is also referred to as walking beach when used on a non-vital (dead) tooth. But this has the higher risk of producing sensitive teeth when used on vital teeth. In-office whitening combined with a take-home whitening kit is an effective way to remove tetracycline stains.

tooth_whitening
home_bleaching       tooth_whitening

What is the chemical used for bleaching?
The active ingredient in most of the whitening (bleaching) agents is 5 – 20% carbamide peroxide (CH4N2O2). When water comes in contact with these white crystals it releases hydrogen peroxide. This makes the outer enamel of the teeth more opaque resulting in a whiter teeth. Sometimes lasers are used to activate the bleaching process during in-office bleaching.

tooth_whitening

What are the complications seen in tooth bleaching?
A small number of people may experience temporary discomfort during the bleaching treatment, such as gum or tooth sensitivity. These symptoms disappear within one to three days after completion of the treatment. It is important that the manufacturer’s directions are followed precisely if home treatment kits are used.

Sometimes the biting edges and the sides of the tooth whiten more quickly than the rest of the tooth. This occurs because your enamel is thinner in these areas and responds faster to the bleaching process. As you continue to use the teeth-whitening system, the rest of your tooth surface will catch up and the colour will even out.

No one can really predict how much lighter your teeth will become after bleaching. Every case is different. Usually there is a two-shade improvement, as seen on the dentist's shade guide. The success rate depends upon the type of stain involved and your compliance. Bleaching can only provide a shift in color to a lighter shade.

Bleaching does not lighten artificial materials such as composites glassinomer or silicate fillings, resins, or porcelains. If you any such dental work in your mouth then after the bleaching process you will have to redo them to the “newer” shade of your teeth.

tooth_whitening
tooth_whitening

* My Homepage * Know your teeth * Know your Gums (Gingiva) * Eruption Dates * Six Golden Rules * Brushing\Flossing Technique * Wisdom tooth * Tooth Decay * Extraction * Dental Implant * Surgical Extraction * Orthognathic Surgery * Asymmetry of the face * Gummy Smile * Prognathism{Long Jaw} * Beggs\Straight wire{Orthodontia} * Bleaching{Tooth Whitening} * Habit Breaking Appliances * Interceptive Orthodontics * Discolouration\Veneers * Composite\Amalgam Fillings * Root Canal Treatment{RCT} * Crown{Porcelain\Castmetal} * Flap Surgery/Splinting * Bridges{Porcelain\Castmetal} * TMJ (Joint) Disorders * Bell's Palsy {Facial Paralysis} * Ankylosis{Difficulty in mouth opening} * Cleft Lip and Palate * Trigeminal Neuralgia * In a Lighter vein


This site is produced, designed and maintained by
Dr Antony George, Trichur Institute of Head And Neck Surgery (TIHANS),
Shornur Road,Trichur,Kerala-680001,India.
Ph: 0091-0487-335145, 335185
email me
This page is best viewed with IE4+ or Navigator4+ at 800*600px.
copyright ©Aug 2000. No part of this website may be transmitted or reproduced in anyway. Every effort has been made to supply correct and accurate information, but I assume no responsibility for its use.

updated Aug2002.