What is it?
Like hair and skin, teeth vary in colour. Some are yellower or darker than others, even when they are quite healthy. Teeth tend to get darker as people get older. Teeth sometimes get darker if their roots have been damaged or diseased or the “nerve” has died. Tooth colour can be very effectively lightened with the Hydrogen Peroxide (bleach), used on either the outside or the inside of the tooth. Tooth bleaching is safe as long as the bleach does not touch your gums and burn them. Dentists use special jelly bleach.
What will my dentist do?
Where the “nerve” of a tooth has died (through damage or disease) and the tooth’s root has been filled, bleach will be put inside the tooth under a removable temporary dressing. This can take a few days or a few weeks.
There are two ways of bleaching the outside of teeth. One takes place at home and the other is in the surgery.
Home bleaching, how it works
You will need to have impressions taken with putty like material to make moulds of your teeth in order for your bleaching trays to be made. We will ensure that the trays fit and show you how to use the whitening and trays.
You will take the whitening gel home to use in your trays which fits closely around your teeth. The trays make sure that the gel does not burn your gums. You will need to put the tray in your mouth for a few hours or overnight depending on the brand and over a period of weeks for the best results.
What are the benefits?
Bleaching improves the appearance of your teeth without removing any of the natural tooth surface. Bleaching is a better option than a crown or veneer if you want to lighten the colour of healthy teeth, as the placing of crowns and some veneers involves changing the shape of the tooth.
Bleaching in surgery, how it works
Your dentist (or dental care professional) will use stronger bleach than what you can use at home. This method is used to bleach all teeth at the same. The strong bleach will touch your teeth for less time than with home bleaching.
The dental professional will protect your gums, then paint the bleach onto the teeth and then shine a special light on them to activate the bleach.
The bleach will then be removed with water
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