Dental bleaching is the procedure of lightening the teeth that have changed color due to a variety of reasons over the years, or the natural color of an individual's teeth by a few tones through a simple oxygenation process, without damaging the enamel structure. Dental bleaching procedures applied either at a clinic or at home must be implemented under the supervision of a professional physician.
It is possible to implement the bleaching procedure in various methods:
Home bleaching: It is applied at home through tailor-made plates, which are prepared according to the size of the mouth following the processes of tartar cleaning and polishing. These plates are placed inside the mouth together with whitening gels placed in it. Depending on the concentration of the gel used, it is kept for an average of 4-8 hours on a daily basis in order to achieve an ideal bleaching in 5 to 15 days.
Office bleaching: Teeth are bleached with the help of a special source of light in the dentist chair. Following the cleaning and polishing of the teeth, the physician applies the bleaching gel onto the teeth by providing the necessary isolation, then the teeth are bleached through a 15-minute light activation. One to three sessions of treatment are performed based on the intensity of discoloration. With this method, the result is obtained quicker compared to the home bleaching.
Single tooth bleaching: The presence of discolored teeth constitutes a significant aesthetic problem. Root canal filling materials, post-traumatic hemorrhage, and dead nerve residues stuck inside the tooth are responsible for the discoloration of the root canal-treated teeth. The bleaching process applied to such dead teeth is a simple and effective method that protects the remaining dental tissue. The existing filling is removed, a bleaching gel is applied to the cavity that is opened and is covered with a temporary filling. The procedure is repeated until the desired color is obtained.
It is required to avoid any cold/hot foods, smoking, and any discoloring agents, such as tea, coffee and red wine, throughout all bleaching procedures, and during the first 24 hours following such procedures. Failure to pay attention to these points may decrease the effects of early bleaching.
The bleaching procedure is performed on the outermost enamel layer of the tooth. While the bleaching procedure yields better results in young people since the enamel tissue is thicker and less eroded, the amount of bleaching tends to decrease due to increased age and enamel erosion.
The initial color of the tooth also affects the amount of bleaching. Teeth of a yellowish tone get bleached more easily, while those of a gray tone are more difficult to bleach.
Tetracycline discolorations of gray color, which emerge due to antibiotics taken during childhood, are the most difficult ones to bleach.
Conditions that may occur during or after the bleaching procedure:
Following the bleaching procedure, a certain amount of tooth sensitivity may occur depending on the structure of the tooth, yet the sensitivity usually heals within a couple of days after the completion of the procedure. Cracks and abrasions on dental surfaces increase the possibility of sensitivity.
The bleaching procedure performed under the supervision of the dentist and the products used are reliable. They have been developed as a result of many years of research and applications.
The result obtained after the bleaching procedure is long-lasting. This period also depends on the structure of the tooth and the patient. Teeth with a large amount of scratches and abrasions on their surfaces are discolored more easily. Excessive consumption of discoloring foods, such as tea, coffee, coke, and use of tobacco will shorten this period. Furthermore, it is required to avoid any cold/hot foods, smoking, and any discoloring agents, such as tea, coffee and red wine, throughout the bleaching procedure, and during the first 24 hours following such procedures. Rapid discoloration may take place if this rule is ignored.