What is tooth bleaching?
The color of your teeth can be lightened with Hydrogen Peroxide (bleach), used either on the outside of the inside of your tooth or teeth.
Like hair and skin, teeth vary in color. Some are yellower or darker than others even when they are quite healthy.
Teeth sometimes darken if their roots have been diseased. A change in color is caused by blood from the root canal.
Tooth bleaching is completely safe as long as the bleach doesn’t touch your gums and burn them. Dentists use special jelly bleach.
For a tooth that is dark inside, the bleach is put in the root canal temporarily, before or after the tooth is root-filled.
There are two ways of bleaching the outside of teeth.
The dentist may give you a weak bleach jelly to use at home in a tray which fits closely round your teeth. The tray makes sure that the jelly does not burn your gums. You will need to use the try for an hour or two a day, for up to six weeks.
A dental technician will make the tray you use for bleaching your teeth at home from an impression of your teeth that your dentist has made. Your dentist will check the tray fits and show you how to put the jelly in the tray at home.
Your dentist can use a stronger bleach jelly. Dentists use this method to bleach all the teeth at the same time in either your upper or lower jaw. The strong bleach will touch the teeth for less time than with home bleaching.
If your dentist usesstronger bleach, they will protect your gums. They will paint the bleach onto the teeth and heat it with light for a few minutes. They then wash it off with water.
Your dentist will make a note of your tooth color using model teeth in different shaded before they treat you. Look at the color match yourself before the treatment so you can compare it with the color after bleaching.
Your teeth may be sensitive to hot and cold food and drink for a few days after bleaching.
Bleaching improves the appearances of your teeth without removing any of the natural tooth surface. Bleaching is a better option than a crown or veneer if you want to lighten the color of healthy teeth.