This is the use of bleaching agents to whiten the colour of teeth. The normal colour of tooth enamel varies, with most teeth ranging from off-white to yellow. Teeth may be discoloured by various factors, including surface stains due to lifestyle (smoking, coffee, tea, red wine), age, poor hygiene, certain medicines, dental trauma, or excessive fluoride.
Your dentist is the ONLY person qualified to assess you correctly, and if applicable provide you with a bleaching treatment to ensure the best results for you. Tooth whitening is usually safe and effective but some people are not good candidates for bleaching.
Internal bleaching may be needed after trauma and root canal treatment if the tooth turns darker. Your dentist drills a small hole in the back of the tooth and inserts the bleaching product and a temporary filling. A week or so later, the tooth will be checked, and the bleaching agent replaced for another week, or if the colour is satisfactory, the tooth is restored permanently
The main side effect of tooth whitening is tooth sensitivity, and this can usually be managed if you follow your dentist’s instructions.
Other possible complications are:
- sometimes blemishes will not improve and white patches in the teeth may become brighter than expected
- filling materials will not whiten along with the teeth, so you may need them replaced
- gums may become irritated if the bleach is in prolonged contact,
- some over the counter preparations are very abrasive and can damage the teeth
We offer a couple of options for tooth whitening, and are very happy to answer any questions you might have, so please ask if you are interested.