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Tooth Whitening

Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening, is a common procedure in general dentistry but most especially in the field of cosmetic dentistry. As a person ages, teeth often become darker due to changes in the mineral structure of the tooth. Teeth can also become stained by bacterial pigments, foodstuffs and tobacco. Certain antibiotic medications (like tetracycline) can also cause teeth staining or a reduction in the brilliance of the enamel.                     

There are many methods to whiten teeth but traditionally, whitening involves applying bleaching gel to the teeth using thin guard trays. Oxidizing agents such as carbamide peroxide are used to lighten the shade of the tooth. The oxidizing agent penetrates the porous structure of enamel and oxidizes stain deposits; over a period of time, the dentine layer, lying underneath the enamel, is also bleached. The effects of bleaching can last for several months, but may vary depending on the lifestyle of the patient. Factors that decrease whitening include smoking and the ingestion of dark coloured liquids like coffee, tea and red wine.

Internal staining of dentine can discolour the teeth from inside out. Internal bleaching can remedy this. If heavy staining or tetracycline damage is present on a patient’s teeth, and whitening is ineffective, there are other methods of whitening teeth. Dental bonding, when a thin coating of composite material is applied to the front of a person’s teeth and then cured with a blue light can be performed to mask the staining. A veneer can also mask tooth discolouration.

Click on the link below to download the Home Whitening Instructions and attached Consent Form you would be asked to complete and sign should you wish to go ahead with the procedure.

David Barclay
David Barclay

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Amelia Wong Dentist
Amelia Wong

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