Bleaching refers to the process of lightening the stains or colours inside enamel or dentine by using chemical agents.
To whiten teeth and regain the normal colour of the teeth.
- Vital tooth
- Non-vital tooth treated by root canal therapy
Bleaching agents are used to oxidize the colour pigments in the discoloured teeth in order to whiten these teeth.
Bleaching agents contain chemicals such as Carbamide Peroxide, Hydrogen Peroxide , etc.
Procedures for bleaching
Bleaching vital tooth
Dentist will use different bleaching methods according to various oral conditions:
Take impressions of teeth to make a set of models. Construct a custom whitening tray from the dental laboratory. The patient should fill the tray with the bleaching solution and wear it over the teeth overnight. In addition, the patient should wear the tray every night according to the dentist's instructions and return to the dentist for follow-up appointments according to schedule.
- In the dental clinic, the dentist can use a strong light to catalyse the more concentrated bleaching agents to whiten teeth in a shorter time.
Treatment duration: 3 to 6 months
Bleaching of non-vital tooth treated by root canal therapy
- Endodontic treatment (Root canal therapy)
of the tooth must be completed first.
- Place a cotton pellet soaked with whitening agent inside the pulp chamber and then fill up tooth opening.
- Visit dentist periodically to check the progress of bleaching, and change the cotton pellet with whitening agent accordingly. When whitening effect is achieved, remove the cotton pellet, clean the pulp chamber and filled up the tooth cavity.
Duration: The treatment ends when the stains or colours are lightened, which takes approximately 1 - 3 months.
Points to note before using bleaching agents
- Not all stains or discoloration could be lightened. Some teeth may not achieve maximum whitening effect even after the treatment.
- Be careful when using bleaching agents and consult your dentist for proper usage of bleaching agents. Improper use of bleaching agents will hurt the gums and the tooth supporting tissues, leading to increase sensitivity of teeth.
- Harmful to health if bleaching agent is ingested accidentally.
Points to note after bleaching
- Visit your dentist for check-up as advised.
- Bleaching can only keep the teeth white for a period of time. Repeated bleaching treatment is needed to keep the teeth white.
Last revision date: 18 January 2012