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Teeth Whitening

What is teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is a procedure done by the dentist to lighten stained or discoloured teeth.

This is of two types:

in-clinic teeth whitening also known as office bleach procedure; and

home teeth whitening.

What is the difference between teeth cleaning and teeth whitening?

Teeth cleaning is a procedure done by the dentist to remove plaque, tartar and stains from the tooth surface.

Teeth cleaning will remove yellowish color due to tartar or discoloration due to food stains such as tea and coffee stains.

However long habit of tobacco, coffee, tea, alcohol, food additives, some developmental blemishes and natural aging lead to yellowing of teeth and internal discoloration.

Teeth cleaning cannot help in such a condition, and teeth whitening has to be done. However teeth cleaning has to be done before teeth whitening is started.

What is involved in teeth whitening?

Home teeth whitening:

If you select home method, we will take impressions of your teeth to prepare a custom-made ultra thin mouth tray, and along with the tray we will provide you a gel. As per our instructions you have to place the whitening gel in the tray which is then worn for 30-40 minutes. There are some gels which require that the trays are worn for a longer period as much as 2 hours or overnight.

Results are usually seen within 4-5 days and considerable whitening is accomplished within a week. In case you have a severe problem of discoloured or yellowed teeth you may have to use the tray for a longer period as much as 15 days. We will advise you on how long to wear the tray both initially and for maintenance.

In-clinic Teeth whitening

If you do not have patience or are in a hurry, we select the in-office teeth whitening procedure.

You are made to sit in the dental chair and the teeth whitening gel is placed on the teeth and the whitening process activated by use of a special light or laser. The procedure is done in 2 cylces, each of 15 minute duration.

The gel used in in-clinic method is of a higher concentration so faster results are obtained.

What are the risks of teeth whitening procedure?

Teeth whitening is a safe and proven procedure done since many years. Every year millions of patients all over the world get whiter and brighter teeth with teeth whitening.

Some patients may have tooth sensitivity during the in-clinic procedure or during the home procedure. This sensitivity is mild and temporary. (3-4 days)

The gels used by us contain anti-sensitivity material and so the possibility of sensitivity occurring is very low.

Does the tooth enamel get weakened by this procedure?

No, absolutely not.

Are the teeth damaged in any way by this procedure?

No, absolutely not.

How long do the results last?

Results typically last for a very long time and for most patients the teeth never go back to the same condition and results are maintained.

However patients having severe discoloration like fluorosis may need to get it repeated after 2-3 years.

Results also depend on your habits such as tobacco or excessive coffee or tea consumption.

There are teeth whitening toothpastes available in the market? Do they work?

Teeth whitening toothpastes actually are used to maintain the result after the teeth whitening procedure is done by the dentist.

It does help in removing very mild tea/coffee/food stains but these do not whiten teeth.

What about teeth whitening strips or home teeth whitening kits available in the supermarket?

Teeth whitening strips and pens from reputed companies having USFDA/CE certification are like teeth whitening toothpastes. They have limited effectiveness, and the results are not comparable to the results obtained by professional teeth whitening.

As regards the home teeth whitening kits available in the market: these are not effective and may even be dangerous. The safe and effective preparations are prescription products and to be dispensed by the dentists only.