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It has been a long time since both fashion and film industry recognized the importance of nice, white teeth and a luminous smile. Teeth whitening is thus becoming increasingly important dental service. One has to distinguish though between two types of products – teeth whitening and teeth bleaching products.  

Whitening products are used to remove pigment from teeth which has accumulated with time. Such products can be bought in shops in the form of whitening toothpaste. 

However,  we have to keep in mind that it is only the pigment caused by coffee, cigarettes or tea that can be removed in this way. Such toothpaste cannot provide a nuance of our teeth  whiter than their natural colour and the usage of such abrasive toothpase can in the long run damage tooth enamel.

Bleaching products make the natural teeth colour a few shades lighter.

They are ment to be used in a dentist's office and under their supervision.

A very frequent question which patients ask is whether bleaching can harm dental substance. A lot of studies have been conducted for this purpose resulting in the conclusion that professional bleaching cannot damage dental substance in any way. Modern means for professional bleaching contain high concentration of fluor thus boosting enamel remineralisation.

The process of bleaching is based on active oxygen which enters solid tooth structure and binds to the pigments causing chemical process of oxygenation which results in  the change of teeth colour – into lighter.

In our office we use two methods of bleaching. The first one uses individual splints with 15-25% carbamide peroxide which lasts for 2 to 3 days. How many times this method has to be repeated Depending on the result of bleaching the process may be repeated a few times..

Another method of bleaching uses a lamp which boosts the chemical process so that the it lasts for only 10 minutes. It can be repeated for another 10 minutes if the patient wishes to have a lighter shade.

It is important to stress that in the period of two weeks following the treatment the patient has to avoid inappropriate habits like smoking cigarettes or consuming high-pigment products (coffee, red wine, tea, natural fruit juice) because that is how long the colour needs to stabilise.  

Once the teeth have been bleached they should never get the initial shade they had before being treated.

The negative side effect of professional teeth bleaching can be temporary teeth sensitivity to temperature changes. In our office we use flourine- based gel for protection of sensitive teeth in such cases.