Teeth whitening also known as tooth bleaching is the most sought after cosmetic procedure performed by a dentist. This is a relatively cheap procedure which greatly improves the appearance and look of the teeth.

Many people are uncomfortable with either the colour or the presence of stains or discoloured spots on their teeth. These individuals seek the help of the dentists to improve the look when they smile or talk. There are many modalities of teeth whitening procedures employed by the dentists today. These procedures can be performed at the clinic or at home.

Oxidising agents of various kinds are used for teeth whitening; they penetrate the enamel and produce whitening by bleaching the dentin.

A detailed dental examination is done prior to the teeth whitening procedure. The type of treatment and suitability of the candidate is also determined.

Types of teeth whitening procedures

In clinic procedures:  

  1. Power bleaching.
  • Quick (usually are completed within an hour).
  • Very effective.
  • Offer about 7-10 different shades of colors.
  • Many times better than commercial procedures.
  • Last for many years.
  • Expensive.

2. Laser methods.

  • Fastest.
  • Most effective.
  • Safest.
  • Most expensive.

At-home whitening kits:

  1. Bleaching trays (under dentist’s supervision).
  • Take several weeks to produce whitening effect.
  • Strength is lesser as compared to in-clinic procedures.
  • Last for 6-12 months.
  • Expensive.

2. Bleaching gels (under dentist’s supervision).

  • Effects can be seen within 2 weeks.
  • Less strong.
  • Expensive.

Over the counter methods:

Over the counter teeth whitening methods are cheap, convenient to use, and are designed for safe application at home. Their strength is much lower than those agents used in the clinic and so have lesser whitening effect and take a long time to get the desired results.

The various over the counter methods are:

  • Whitening trays.
  • Whitening strips.
  • Whitening tooth pastes.
  • Paint-on teeth whiteners.

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