How does in-office whitening and home bleaching work?
The active ingredient that whitens teeth is peroxides in the form of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. Carbamide peroxide releases hydrogen peroxide in the presence of water. Hydrogen peroxide chemically bleaches teeth on the outer surface and within the inner tooth itself. Peroxides can lighter teeth beyond your natural colour at a high enough concentration.
DIY home teeth-whitening products normally should not exceed a certain peroxide percentage. Different countries have different rules regarding the permitted concentrations of hydrogen peroxide released by products and who may provide these. This is to limits the risks of toxicity and is not based on whitening effects to your teeth. Some countries do not permit more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide whereas other countries may allows products of up to 12% hydrogen peroxide to be sold over the counter.
At your dentist office, the peroxide levels used for in-office teeth whitening are usually higher of up to between 20% and up to 35% hydrogen peroxide to enable faster whitening effect. Home bleaching gels from your dentist office may also be slightly stronger then over-the-counter bleaching kits and is administered based on their professional judgment one the suitability of concentration level for each individual.
Weaker concentrations of peroxide normally act at the surface of the tooth enamel compared to higher doses done at your dentist’s office.
How is in-office whitening done?
For in-chair whitening at our cosmetic dental center, your dentist first does an assessment for you on your teeth. If dental whitening is suited for your, your dentist takes the color shades of your teeth before the start of whitening. At this point, if you have not had teeth cleaning and scaling done for sometime, you are able to opt for a professional dental clean that is a separate treatment from your teeth whitening process.
Once ready, your dentist places either a rubber shield along your gum margins. This acts as a protective barrier from the whitening gel to your gums. The whitening agent is applied to teeth surface. A light source is placed over teeth to activate and accelerate the whitening process. The active ingredients in the whitening gel breaks down and as oxygen gets into the enamel on your teeth, stains are removed.
When the whitening cycle is complete, your dentist cleans and removes the rubber shield. A post treatment tooth shade comparison is then made. You are able to compare on the number of shades improvements before and after treatment.
How is home bleaching done?
If you opt for home bleaching treatment at BIDH cosmetic dental center, your dentist first does an assesment on your tooth condition if you are a candidate for teeth whitening.
A tooth impression is taken to make your custom-fit tray. Your dentist determines the perioxide concentration gel to dispense. After 2 hours or at a your convenice, you are able to collect your trays and whitening kit. Instructions on how to apply, clean and use your take-home kit is provided to you.
- Avoid having the whitening agent contact with gums as much as possible
- Avoid swallowing the whitening gel
- Do you attempt to excessive bleaching your teeth
- Some people can also experience temporary sensitivity in gum or teeth. If your teeth are sensitive, do stop using the home bleaching kit and alternate the use of the kit. If unsure, contact our cosmetic dental center.
A good-fitting bleaching trays is an important aspect if opting for home bleaching toi you use less bleaching product and there is no excessive gel that overflow. As you may have to wear it for more than 30 mintuets, you do not gag or have excessive salivation. Custom-made bleaching trays can normally be re-used if you keep them for future home bleaching sessions.