Teeth Whitening with Dr. Ariel Loke
Dental whitening treatment is a cosmetic procedure, which allows lightening of the tooth’s colours via an application of chemical agents that oxidises the organic pigmentation of the teeth. Dental discolourations can be divided into intrinsic and extrinsic stains. Intrinsic staining has multiple causes, which include aging, fluorosis, tetracycline staining, trauma, caries and dark restoration and congenital defects.
Extrinsic stains, however, are caused by patients’ daily habits such as coffee, tea or wine intake, nicotine use, poor dental hygiene and plaque. Although teeth whitening treatments may easily manage most forms of extrinsic and intrinsic stains,severe discolourations such as tetracycline staining and congenital dental defectslike dentinogenesis imperfect may require restorative procedures like veneers or crowns. In a nutshell, appropriate patient indications for teeth whitening treatments
are generalised staining, smoking or dietary pigmentation, mild white spots
or fluorosis and trauma.
Teeth Whitening for Dental Trauma
When patients suffer dental trauma, they can experience tooth discolourations especially if there is blood pigmentation, a necrotic pulp, root canal fillings or filling materials and root resorption. If patients have suffered dental trauma, an internal bleaching or ‘non-vital bleaching of the darkened, dead tooth can be done after root canal treatment. During a ‘non-vital bleaching’ procedure, dentists will insert bleaching agents such as sodium perborate or carbamide peroxide into the pulp chamber and seal it. Patients will then find a progressive lightening of the darkened,non-vital tooth and can expect good, natural-looking results after two weeks.
Teeth Whitening for Generalised Staining
In-office vital bleaching can yield high satisfactory results in just one visit. Laser whitening is one of
the latest dental whitening methods and utilises bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. After said chemicals are applied on the teeth’s surface, heat generated by the
laser will not only speed up but enhance whitening processes. While positive outcomes are highly
likely, results aren’t permanent and can return especially if dietary and poor lifestyle habits don’t
change. Lastly, patients may experience post-treatment sensitivity which lasts anywhere between 24
to 48 hours. To reduce chances of discomfort, it’s best that patients refrain from eating or drinking
anything too cold or hot for at least two days.