With celebrities showing off their ice-white grins over the past few years, having a polar white smile is now as much part of the trends as wearing Gautier and Prada. Also known as dental bleaching, tooth whitening is now a very common procedure in cosmetic dentistry used to whiten yellow or grey teeth. It is also often used when teeth have become stained by wine, tea and other foodstuffs, bacterial pigments and tobacco. Whether you would like to improve your appearance or remove stains, there are various options available to patients.
There are a few methods used to whiten teeth depending on whether the procedure is done by a dentist or done at home. This includes bleaching strips, pens, gels, laser bleaching and natural bleaching. For home-whitening, gel is more often than not the popular choice. It is hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide that is used to alter the shade of the tooth and the result is dependent on the concentration.
The majority of cosmetic dental practises will offer in-surgery teeth whitening performed by a professional and will also have at-home tooth-whitening kits. A higher concentration of peroxide will result in a more powerful bleaching agent. Though this is more effective for whitening the teeth, it also may result in damage to gums and lips.
All good dentists will know how to protect gums in lips in order to avoid damage. They are also likely to use peroxide of a higher concentration and will usually get a better immediate result than home whitening kits.
Some people may experience some pain and sensitivity, though it is very unlikely to be serious or long lasting and will settle down after a couple of days. Dentists advise patients to avoid very hot or very cold food within the first 48 hours of the treatment.