Whitening is the process of removing discolorations that occur in the structure of the teeth (enamel and dentin layer) and cause aesthetic problems. Coloration usually occurs due to old age, consumption of dyes (coffee, tea, cola, cigarettes, etc.), trauma, root canal treatment, old dentures, veneers and fillings. Antibiotic (tetracycline) or excessive fluoride consumption used in the development process of teeth can also cause discoloration in the teeth.
Whitening can be done in two ways:
I. Home Bleaching
After the dentist takes oral measurements, thin and elastic molds are prepared that can be worn on the teeth. The patient places home medicine in the small chambers in the front area of the individually prepared special mold and wears this mold on the teeth for at least 4 – 8 hours a day. Performing this procedure during sleep increases the effectiveness of whitening as the saliva secretion decreases at night and does not affect the daily life of the patient. After the whitening application, it is recommended to brush the teeth and remove the drug from the mouth after the plaques are removed from the mouth. The treatment should be terminated in an average of 1 – 4 weeks, depending on the degree of whiteness to be achieved and the sensitivity that may occur in the teeth.
During this treatment, smoking should be avoided, especially with dyes such as tea, coffee and wine.
II. Office Bleaching (Office type)
This method is whitening performed in the clinic and under the control of a physician. The fact that the solution used here is in a much higher concentration than that used at home requires the control of an experienced physician. In this method, the treatment time will be much shorter, but the risk of sensitivity may increase.
Although both methods are effective, the choice depends on the degree of discoloration, how quickly the treatment is desired to be terminated, and the physician’s opinion.
The point that should not be forgotten in both methods is that the whiteness obtained is not permanent for a lifetime. The continuity of the factors that previously caused the coloration and the amount of cigarette consumption, especially with dyes such as tea, coffee and wine, will determine the return time of the coloration.