Teeth Whitening

Prior to bleaching of teeth, the cause of discoloration must be known. Teeth that are discoloured due to endodontic reasons are bleached internally, meaning, the bleaching agent is applied inside the tooth after root canal treatment. On the other hand, teeth that are discoloured only on its outer surface are bleached externally.

Internal and External Tooth Bleaching

External bleaching involves the application and light curing of a dam material. This is to protect the gums from the bleaching agent. The bleaching agent is then applied on the teeth. The most common bleaching agent used by dentists is carbamide peroxide which turns into hydrogen peroxide. It is applied and light cured for about 10 minutes and may be done up to three cycles depending on the manufacturer’s instruction. External bleaching may take up to 30-45 minutes, depending on how many cycles were done. During the treatment, the patient may feel sensitivity and stinging on the gums if the bleaching agent gets on to the gums.

What to do after Teeth Whitening

After bleaching, it is normal to feel dental sensitivity. White patches may also be seen on the gums but it will disappear eventually. It is important to avoid foods and activities that may discolour the teeth in the first 24 hours including smoking, drinking coffee, tea, etc. Teeth that are highly discoloured prior to bleaching may lighten more after bleaching compared to teeth that are only slightly discoloured.