“Whitening is a cosmetic treatment that reduces the darker color tones of the teeth, leaving them whiter and brighter.”
What is bleaching?
From the age of 40, the color of the teeth becomes progressively darker and yellower, so patients increasingly demand more bleaching. Whitening is a cosmetic treatment that reduces the darker color tones of the teeth, leaving them whiter and brighter. White teeth give a more youthful, clean and healthy look. Most external stains caused by coffee, tobacco, red wine, and food can be removed.
However not all stains can be improved by bleaching. In these cases other treatments such as veneers, composite or ceramic may be required. It is important to note that bleaching has no effect on resin-filled teeth (composite), amalgam (metal), inlays, crowns or bridges. In these instances, we may perform a bleaching and then after a few days, when the color stabilizes, we change the fillings, crowns, etc. to improve their color and match them to the rest of the teeth.
Types of bleaching and procedures we follow at Clinica Caballero-Friedländer
High concentration hydrogen peroxide gels are used which act chemically (activated by heat or a special light) and are capable of releasing hydrogen peroxide molecules which “leak” into the small pores of the tooth enamel and oxidize the substances which stain the tooth. This is bleaching type most commonly used, and it is also known as external bleaching.
There is also an internal bleaching procedure, which is done in endodontically treated teeth (i.e. with the nerve devitalized). In this case, the product is applied on the inside of the tooth therefore whitening from within. The bleaches used are at high concentrations, unlike those which home use preparations which are of low concentration and therefore less effective.
The external bleaching steps are:
- Placement of gum protection
- Applying the gel
- Applying a special light
- Removing the gel
For a more stable and durable result over time, we recommend home bleaching for a few weeks with carbamide peroxide at low concentrations.
Also for a months after treatment, we recommend avoiding stain causing or acidic foods (pineapple, kiwi, citrus, etc.). At Clinica Caballero-Friedländer we recommend following a “white diet” (no coffee, red wine, spinach, etc.), as during this period the teeth are more vulnerable to attracting stains. After this it is possible to resume a normal diet, but continuation with a ‘white diet’ improves the results of treatment.