What causes tooth discoloration?

Tooth discoloration can be due to either endogenous or exogenous factors. Pigments of the second type are superficial and are easily removed by cleaning. In contrast, discoloration of endogenous etiology affects the internal structure of the teeth and requires special methods such as bleaching to improve it. Habits such as drinking coffee, tea, smoking, taking certain medications (such as tetracycline during tooth formation), long-term use of antiseptic solutions in the mouth and injuries can lead to the deposition of pigments on the teeth.

How is whitening done?

There are three different teeth whitening techniques:

1. At the Clinic (Power):
This technique involves the application of a high concentration of bleaching agent (5% to 40% hydrogen peroxide) by the dentist. The bleaching agent is activated or not by the use of radiation, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.

2. At Home (Normal):
In this case, the patient uses special whitening braces according to the dentist’s instructions to apply the whitening procedure at home.

3. Combined Whitening (Deep):
In this approach the above two techniques are combined. The process begins in the doctor’s office and continues at home. This method is becoming increasingly popular as it aims to take advantage of both techniques.
In a study by Kugel et al., 10 subjects underwent in-office whitening treatment, while another group of 10 subjects underwent combined treatment. The subjects in the second group showed a statistically significant difference with whiter shades in their teeth. In addition, other studies suggest that the combined bleaching technique demonstrates a longer duration in maintaining the effect. In our practice, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our services, offering the combined whitening technique to meet your high demands.

What are the contraindications of bleaching?

The teeth whitening procedure is not recommended for the following groups of people:

1. Pregnant or lactating women: There is insufficient research data on the effects of bleaching in these groups, and therefore, it is not recommended for safety reasons.

2. Children under the age of 14: Children have teeth that are extremely sensitive and still developing. Teeth whitening is not recommended for this age group.

3. Patients with extremely sensitive teeth: If the teeth are extremely sensitive, the whitening process may worsen the sensitivity.

4. Patients with prosthetic restoration: Restorative materials such as crowns and bridges are not subject to bleaching. This can lead to an imbalance in color between the natural teeth and the restorations.

5. People allergic to peroxide: Bleaching often involves the use of peroxide, and people allergic to this ingredient should avoid the bleaching process.

In all these cases, it is recommended to discuss with the dentist about customized alternatives that adapt to the needs and condition of each patient.

According to the European Directive 2011/84/EU, it is allowed for patients over 18 years of age.

Is there any chance I’ll be sensitive?

The appearance of sensitivity is possible for the first few days, but it is transient and then disappears.
What is the mechanism of action of the bleaching agent?
The teeth whitening process uses various concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide to achieve the desired result. It is important to consider the recommended concentrations and the differences in their use in the dental office and at home.

In the dental office, a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide (25-40%) is usually used for fast and strong results. This process can be activated with the help of a polymerization lamp.

At home, patients typically use lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (6%) or carbamide peroxide (10-20%). The dentist’s instructions should be followed carefully for the proper use of pet substances.

The process is based on the dissolution of the pigment macromolecules by hydrogen peroxide. This leads to changes in the structure of the pigments, causing whitening and discoloration of the teeth. It is a procedure that requires attention and supervision by a dental professional.

How much whiter will my teeth get?

The result is not predictable, in some it is more impressive than in others such as e.g. graying teeth are more difficult to respond to.

The duration of the whitening effect depends on many factors, such as the frequent consumption of products with pigments and oral hygiene. Although there is a tendency to return to the original tooth color, it rarely if ever becomes exactly the same.

For the longest possible preservation of the therapeutic effect, it is suggested that a reminder application of the bleaching material takes place for 6 days every 6 months, after a detailed plucking and polishing. In modern dentistry, the dangers of whitening do not exist, as long as the application protocol is explicitly followed and no exaggerations are made.

In cases such as pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding, children under 14 years of age, patients with extremely sensitive teeth, patients with prosthetic restoration or allergy to peroxide, whitening may not be suitable.

For internal whitening, which is addressed in cases of tooth injury or after endodontic treatment, a special technique is applied. Occlusive materials are removed first, and then whitening material is placed. The process is repeated case by case, until the desired color is achieved.