Your personality is reflected by your smile, and a beautiful smile can enhance your charisma. Interestingly, having white and clean teeth can lead to a beautiful smile, making you look more charming and attractive.
An individual’s tooth color and tone are different due to several external and internal factors. External factors like food, drink, and plaque staining can easily be removed by scaling and polishing. However, a change in tooth color from internal factors may not be solved by cleaning soley, so a tooth bleaching is required to further adjust the tooth color.
Tooth bleaching is a popular method for tooth whitening. Since this approach does not require tooth cutting, it can be performed in both vital and nonvital teeth with different treatment procedure.
Vital Tooth Bleaching
2 options are available for vital tooth bleaching as the followings:
1. In-office bleaching
This popular in-office tooth bleaching is performed by a dentist. It can rapidity and significantly change the tooth color within a short duration (30-60 minutes). To perform an in-office tooth bleaching, a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide solution (bleaching agent) will be used to whiten a tooth along with heat and/or light to catalyze the bleaching reaction.
2. At-home bleaching
This option allows a patient to perform a teeth bleaching by themselves at home. Despite a variety of bleaching equipments and agents, the most effective way of home bleaching is to use a personalized tray prepared by a dentist with a recommended bleaching agent. This tray is customized to fit and be specific to each patient. A lower concentration of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide will be used as a bleaching agent, which is safe and reliable. The length of the treatment will vary from patient to patient and depend greatly on a patient’s initial teeth color.
Side effects of tooth bleaching
During the treatment, tooth sensitivity can be increased (vary from patient to patient). Several factors: tooth reaction, and concentration of bleaching agents for example, can also affect the sensitivity. Nevertheless, this condition does not last long and can disappear within 2-3 days after finishing the tooth bleaching process. Noted that a tooth bleaching operated by a professional dentist is safe and does not damage the tooth strength.
Non-vital Tooth Bleaching
Bleeding in dental pulp can occur in a traumatized tooth, leading to a change in the tooth color. A root canal treatment is also another cause linked to color changing in a non-vital tooth. The bleaching procedure for this condition can be performed by adding bleaching agents in the pulp chamber, followed by a temporary filling on top of the bleaching agents to close the cavity. After 1-2 weeks, a follow-up appointment will be scheduled to determine the result. If not satisfied, another 1-2 bleaching treatments may be required. When the satisfied tooth color is obtained, a dentist will fill the cavity with color-matched composite resin.
Although bleaching is effective in most patients, it may not be suitable for those who have a brownish or grey tooth, resulted from high fluoride or tetracycline exposure during childhood. Alternative treatments, dental veneers for example, are needed to obtained a more whitened tooth.