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Dec 13, 2016

Whitening/Bleaching

Teeth whitening has been a part of dentistry for more than a century. There are many reasons for dark or discoloured teeth, but sometimes, people simply like to have whiter teeth. Modern whitening methods are completely safe and painless meaning almost everybody can have a whiter smile. These are some simple whitening techniques.

At Snö we offer individualised, in-office power bleaching with Zoom and/or home bleaching with Opalescens.

Power bleaching is a quick fix. Home bleaching achieves the same results, and sometimes even provides better results. Often, we recommend a combination.

 
In this case of normal home bleaching, only the upper teeth have been treated. Home bleaching 12 times (while sleeping) with customised individual bleaching trays (can also be used in the future for touch-ups) can have favourable results.

 
Home bleaching upper teeth over five days for two hours during the day.

 
 
We often recommend a combination of bleaching, composites or veneers. The patient in this case has had their teeth bleached and then had four veneers placed on the upper front teeth.

The procedure 
Using our modern scanning equipment, your Snö dentist will take an impression of both your upper and lower jaws to make plaster models. Based on the models, individual bleach guards are made. Your dentist will instruct you on how to place the bleach gel in the guards before placing them over your teeth. Depending on the severity of discolouration, the number of times to repeat the treatment will vary. Each treatment lasts 1-2 hours and will ideally be repeated 10-15 times.

 
A more complicated case with innate discolourations. After 15 treatments (right) on both upper and lower jaws.

How does it work?
The colour of the tooth is determined by the light reflecting through the many layers of the tooth, including the underlying dentine. The colour of the layers determines the colour of the tooth. The outer layers are normally lighter than the deeper layers of dentine, which are more colourful (yellow). The enamel has microscopic cracks where colour from food and beverages accumulate over years. When you bleach teeth, the bleaching agent will penetrate the microscopic cracks and dissolve the colourants.

The enamel protects the teeth. Under the enamel is the dentine, which is usually darker and more yellow. In the centre is the nerve and blood supply.

Is it dangerous?
Mild to moderate dosages of the bleaching agent is not harmful. Nowadays, many dentists recommend using milder solutions for longer. It is gentler on the teeth and has even less side effects.

How long does it last?
In most cases, the effects of bleaching will last about a year. With a home bleach kit you can easily top up the bleach when needed, and continue to use your bleach guards.

Can all teeth be bleached?
Almost all teeth can be bleached. However, it is important to ensure there is no decay or leaky fillings. Old fillings or crowns will not bleach, but patients can change their fillings or crowns.

Yellow- or brown-stained teeth are easier to bleach than greyish teeth. Teeth with multiple discolourations are also difficult to bleach. It usually takes longer and does not produce a uniform result. Multi-discoloured teeth are also more difficult to bleach. It can take longer and the result is not always harmonious. Your dentist might recommend bleaching the teeth individually to ensure a better result.

Studies show that 85 percent of home bleaching cases are successful. If you need expert help, our dentists at Snö are always ready to help.

Power bleaching
Onsite bleaching can be done with a stronger solution in order to get a faster result. When power bleaching is performed, we generally provide our patients with a bleaching tray for home bleaching in order to continue the treatment or to be able to do touch-ups in the future. A power bleaching treatment normally takes approximately 60-120 minutes. We will gently add protection for your gums and then administer the bleaching solution in several sessions, while using a light to speed up the process. The results from Zoom are similar to home bleaching.

The Zoom power bleaching lamp by Philips.

Aesthetic dentistry
Aesthetic consultation
Veneers
Whitening/Bleaching

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