During the last 20 years, teeth whitening has become one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments. What started out as means of remedying tooth discoloration due to traumatic injury or endodontic therapy, has changed as a result of dentist-prescribed, in-office and home-applied bleaching. Read on to find out more about this burgeoning component of dentistry.
Teeth whitening materials contain primarily either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Both are capable of altering the inherent color of teeth. Most dentist-prescribed treatments, whether in-office or home-applied, are effective; however, results can vary depending on influences such as the type of dental discoloration, the age of the patient, the current strength of active ingredients, treatment time and frequency.
Teeth Whitening Side Effects
There may be temporary mild to moderate tooth sensitivity due to the bleaching process. Sensitivity is usually related to the peroxide concentration of the bleaching solution and the length of time the material remains in contact with hard tissue. This is due to the passage of peroxide through enamel and dentin to the pulp. Teeth that have exposed root surfaces can be more sensitive to the bleaching but there are techniques that can minimize this side effect. There are no reported long-term consequences of tooth sensitivity as a result of teeth whitening.
Dentist directed bleaching treatments—whether in-office bleaching or at-home use of bleaching trays at night or during the day—requires careful consideration of several factors before the first application. Dentists must consider the patient’s lifestyle, history of tooth decay, tooth sensitivity and the type of tooth staining or discoloration. A complete dental examination, including any necessary radiographs, should precede teeth whitening.
Contact Our Office
For further information about teeth whitening, Leesburg dentist Dr. Groy is available for consultation.