Some of you might have heard about teeth whitening, but how many of you are familiar with the procedure? It’s possible that a friend or family member recently received teeth whitening treatment, but you may not fully understand what it is all about.
If you are still reading, then you have stumbled upon the right article. We will be shedding light on the ins and outs of teeth whitening treatment that you should know and expose you to all the necessary details that you should be aware of.
Contrary to common beliefs, teeth whitening doesn’t cause damage to the enamel or your teeth. A chemical agent named hydrogen peroxide is the main active ingredient used in tooth whitening material. Hydrogen peroxide functions by breaking up and releasing free radicals to deconstruct stains on your teeth into smaller molecules, which happens during the oxidation process. Your teeth will exhibit more brightness since these molecules have a higher surface area to reflect more light.
Technically speaking, yes. However, patients should be aware that home whitening kits will deliver less effective results as compared to chairside / in-office whitening. You may be wondering why this is the case. This is due to the much higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide (20 – 35%) that is only allowed to be administered by dental professionals.
For those who would like to do the whitening treatment in the comfort of their own home, it is important to consult your dentist before proceeding with the procedure. Your dentist will recommend you a custom-fabricated tray to be applied with whitening gel that can be used at home, with a clear set of general instructions to adhere to. The whitening process with this custom-made tray will take around 1-2 hours and can be repeated until the desired result is achieved. It may take up to a week to notice the effects and can be inconvenient in terms of the time needed.
In comparison to that, in-office teeth whitening performed by dental professionals can show immediate results within 1 hour, and the process can be repeated until a patient is fully satisfied. It is best advised to use ANY form of teeth whitening solutions ONLY after seeing a dentist. This is done to make sure the product is secure for use and that the process is carefully supervised by experts.
It is common for the whitening effect to diminish after the treatment, this is natural and should be a very slow process unless being accelerated by exposing the teeth to various staining agents.
People are recommended to avoid food products such as coffee, tea, colas, cigarettes, mustard, ketchup, or any food that contains excessive colourings. This is where having a take-home tray or whitening toothpaste can be useful to prolong the whitening effects.
This type of staining is formed in the tooth during the developmental process or has already existed in the mouth. It is more difficult to treat this kind of staining via whitening alone. For those who appear to have white and chalky teeth, it could be an indication of having a condition called fluorosis due to fluoride ingestion. Depending on the severity, it can be treated by whitening, ICON resin infiltration, micro/macro abrasion, or veneers. In the cases of two-toned / multicoloured teeth or staining caused by tetracycline (a type of antibiotic medication), those are difficult to whiten.
For this type of staining, it is easier to remove as it only involves particles of food that bind to the buildup of plaque on the surface of your teeth, or even through minor cracks or fissures. Some of you might be familiar with how certain food or beverages such as coffee, tea or wine, or curries can stain your teeth. For people who smoke, you might have noticed the discolouration of their teeth caused by nicotine, which can be an unsightly distraction as they smile or speak. Chairside whitening is usually more effective than OTC whitening products against mild to moderate extrinsic staining, which is what most people would choose as a go-to treatment.
75% of patients have experienced varying levels of sensitivity after their teeth whitening treatment, which comprised the majority of the most common complaints. The sensation is amplified especially when the teeth come into contact with cold beverages. In most cases, the feeling of sensitivity is usually temporary and only lasts for 3 days. There won’t be any damage caused to the pulp (which contains nerve endings), and the condition can be alleviated through the use of anti-sensitivity toothpaste that contains potassium nitrate and sodium fluoride.
There may be the occurrence of gum irritations if whitening gel seeps through it, but that should only last not more than 3 hours. Generally speaking, chairside teeth whitening products are certified and approved by the Ministry of Health and can be applied safely every 6 to 12 months.
Prices of teeth whitening services can vary depending on the industry price point set by different dental clinics. The average cost usually ranges from RM 900 – RM 1800 depending on the state that a person lives in. However, this is only an estimated price point for patients to be financially prepared and have a general idea before looking for a treatment. The cost induced can vary according to any unforeseen medical complications or the individual’s health conditions. Patients should consult with their nearest dental clinics to get the information on the exact amount needed to avoid any misunderstandings.
If you are interested in a teeth whitening treatment, why not consider visiting White Perfect Dental that is providing various dental treatments including teeth whitening services? They provide the treatment at an affordable price depending on the specific treatment and its duration.