The natural color of the teeth does not always satisfy us. Often teeth also become discolored during their lifetime. There are two kinds of tooth discoloration: extrinsic, for example from eating or smoking cigarettes, and intrinsic, as a result of general diseases, therapy with certain drugs, pulp necrosis or coronal resorption. Sometimes, endodontic treatment also leads to a small change in tooth color. The answer to all these problems is the procedure of teeth whitening.

Teeth whitening – types of treatments

Bleaching may apply to live or dead teeth (after endodontic treatment). For live teeth we can use the overlay method. However, due to the safety reasons, there are limitations on the concentrations of whitening agents placing in overlays. This method is therefore safe, but brings a small and short-lived effect. To maintain it, it is necessary to repeat whitening regularly. For patients selecting this method, the doctor prepares an individual overlay to be used at home. The use of standard overlays available on the market is not recommended, due to poor effectiveness, but mainly due to the traumatic effects on bite and possible complications of temporomandibular joints, which require a long-term treatment.

The most effective method of teeth whitening is the so-called thermocatalytic method using a lamp – accelerator. In our clinic we use the best available on the market accelerator: Beyond Polus Advanced, which guarantees a long-lasting effect after a single treatment.

Dead teeth whitening can only be performed in a dentist’s office, using “walking bleach” or “power bleach” sequences. These methods involve the introduction of a bleaching agent into the tooth cavity. In the “power bleach” method, the Beyond Polus Advanced lamp is used to enhance the effect.

Teeth whitening – the course of the procedure

The treatment of professional teeth whitening starts with the cleaning of their surface, placing the rubber dam and lubricating the gums with a protective preparation. A bleaching agent is applied on the teeth. The accelerator illuminates the tooth surfaces for about 45 minutes at about 30 cm. After the procedure, hypersensitivity may occur, but is very rare and quickly disappears.

The procedure of whitening dead teeth is similar, however, the selected tooth is isolated, the filling is removed from the chamber and the whitening preparation is applied to the inside. The loss of tooth filling is closed with the material used in conservative treatment.

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Teeth whitening – indications and contraindications

Teeth whitening is recommended for any type of discoloration. Local discolorations include those caused by tooth injuries, improper endodontic treatment, caries or resorption, as well as food colouring agents or stimulants (coffee, tea, red wine, smoking). Discoloration can also occur for general reasons, such as overdose of certain medications and thyroid or pituitary disease.
Teeth whitening is not recommended for people with active periodontal disease and poor oral hygiene. Whitening procedure for people with dentin hypersensitivity may lead to the severity of the problem. Bleaching is not recommended for pregnant or breast-feeding women. Of course, contraindication is allergy to whitening agents.

Teeth whitening – frequently asked questions

How often do I have to repeat the whitening treatment to maintain a satisfying effect?

The effectiveness of teeth whitening varies from patient to patient. It depends on the intensity of abrasion and tooth exposure to coloring factors. Bleaching durability with the Beyond Polus Advanced lamp is evaluated for about 2 years after the procedure.

What are the complications after teeth whitening?

Continuous improvement of whitening preparations and accelerators in recent years makes complications after whitening appear extremely rare. The most common is dentin hypersensitivity and irritation of the gums or tongue. Therefore, bleaching is not recommended for patients with dentin hypersensitivity or those who have exposed tooth necks. All complications disappear generally after few days.