Teeth whitening is also known as the bleaching process or lightening the present color a few shades by removing the intrinsic and extrinsic stains. It is a cosmetic treatment to be done on a need-to basis.
Teeth whitening is employed when the patient has stains on the inner (intrinsic) or outer surface (extrinsic) of the teeth or, in case of fluorosis, pulpal changes, or aging if you are not happy with your teeth color.
Discoloration of teeth occurs due to coffee, tea, colas, wines, etc. Smoking and smokeless tobacco can also cause disease that affects enamel- the outer layer of your teeth, and dentin present beneath the enamel, leading to discoloration of teeth. Some treatment procedures can also cause discoloration of teeth, such as head and neck radiation and chemotherapy.
Medications such as tetracycline and doxycycline are known to discolor the teeth when given to children whose teeth are still developing.
There are three types of bleaching techniques; vital bleaching, non-vital bleaching, and home bleaching. In the vital bleaching technique, some bleaching agent is applied on your teeth' surface and is bound using ultraviolet light.
In the case of non-vital bleaching technique, this procedure is basically for root canal treated teeth. Here a bleaching agent is placed inside the tooth by removing the filling material.
And in the home bleaching technique, customized trays of your teeth are fabricated, and a bleaching agent is then applied on the tray and spread using a brush. You should wear the tray overnight till the morning.
Teeth whitening is is not recommended to young children, pregnant women, breastfeeding women, sensitive teeth, cracked teeth, and patients with gingival recession if there is a presence of extensive restoration or crowns.
The disadvantages of teeth whitening are that it is expensive, results aren't permanent, and can cause teeth sensitivity.
The significant advantages of teeth whitening are that it improves the patient's appearance. Great smiles can lead to good health, confidence and beauty, helps fit in better with society, bring a good first impression, and take attention away from facial flaws.