Teeth to humans are not just about chewing down food or uttering words. In the current bourgeois scenario where in first impressions last, every aspect of one’s persona needs to be in place; especially the ones readily visible, like one’s teeth.
Presentation is the key today making it imperative to carry oneself as per the accepted norms, and the accepted norm for teeth is “white.” It thus becomes essential to take good care of one’s teeth and gums. Brushing twice a day is the most commonly recommended method to maintain oral health. However, brushing, though important, is merely a baby step in keeping your teeth and gums healthy; there is a limit to its effectiveness.
Enter a wide range of cosmetic dental treatment procedures that can help realize your desire and need for that perfect set of ever presentable shining white teeth and that winning smile. Among these, dental bleaching, also known as tooth whitening, is the most frequently adopted and requested procedure in cosmetic dentistry today with more than 100 million Americans whitening their teeth one way or another.
In-office bleaching (applied by a professional dentist with dental diode lasers)
At-home bleaching or over-the-counter bleaching (used at home by the patient)
Options called non-dental (offered at mall kiosks, spas, salons etc.) The tools in these cases being bleaching strips, bleaching pen, bleaching gel, and laser bleaching.
The ADA recommends having a thorough dental examination before undergoing any whitening method. Whitening shade guides can then be used to measure tooth colour and to determine the effectiveness of the whitening procedure, which may vary from two to seven shades.
Back home any one from the line of commercial whitening range of gels, chewing gums, rinses, toothpastes, among others, can be used to whiten and brighten your teeth. The ADA has published a list of accepted over-the-counter whitening products to help people choose appropriate whitening products; it is worth mentioning though that these accepted products have not necessarily been independently tested for efficacy.
Home bleaching is preferably performed by applying a high concentration of oxidizing agent to the teeth with thin well fitted plastic trays for a short period of time, which produces quick results; the procedure being repeated up to two more times. Low-concentration whitening is far less effective and involves longer hours. The results vary too, depending on the chosen product, with some people achieving whiter teeth in a few days, and others seeing very little results or no results at all. At-home procedures require extreme care and a little excess of the chosen whitening agent could make your teeth look like having returned from a trip to hell’s boiling cauldron.
In-office bleaching procedures on the other hand, use a light-cured protective layer to reduce the risk of chemical burns to the soft tissues and gums. Power or light-accelerated bleaching, as it is known (sometimes colloquially referred to as laser bleaching) does not actually lasers; this procedure uses light energy to accelerate the process of bleaching in a dental office, the most common being halogen, LED, or plasma arc. The ideal source of energy should be high energy, enough to excite the applied bleaching agent without overheating the tooth pulp or the surrounding gums. Based on clinical trials halogen light is the best source to produce optimal treatment results. Recent technical advances have minimized heat and other emissions, allowing for a shorter procedure – mostly a single seating of approximately 30 minutes.
Given the affordability of the diode laser bleaching process, its safety, and performance, dental diode laser bleaching has more advantageous compared to the at home procedure; an additional incentive being the killing of any bacteria surrounding treated area owing to the heat generated by the laser.
The effects of bleaching can last for several months, but may vary depending on the lifestyle of the patient. So why curse your stars for not having the perfect white teeth; visit your nearest dental clinic and come out all smiles blazing.