The colour of our teeth is individual like ourselves – and we cannot influence the original colour shade. With a thorough and regular cleaning of the teeth we may care for them and keep them healthy but cannot protect them from the loss of their natural tooth colour. The Causes of Dental Staining
Dental discolouration may have different causes, whereby in general one may distinguish them between ‘extrinsic’ (from outside) and ‘intrinsic’ (from inside). Extrinsic staining firstly may be attributed to pigments from food and beverages. Over time they penetrate the dental substance and cause ‘age staining’. In particular coffee, tea, red wine, and nicotine nail their colours to the mast. The causes for intrinsic staining may be complex – side effects of medications, diseases, or haemoglobin that has penetrated the tooth substance while an injury of the dental nerve. Also fillings – in particular for dental root treatments – may affect the colour of a tooth.
What to do against Unappealing Discolorations? Many of the discolorations result from superficial deposits that may be removed with an appropriate cleaning – for instance with special toothpastes containing small abrasive particles. However, a too frequent application of these toothpastes may result in a too high contact pressure that may damage the dental enamel. The better alternative will be a professional teeth cleaning (oral hygiene) at the dentist. In the process, all hard and smooth deposits on the teeth will be removed and following all dental surfaces will be polished and hardened with a fluoride varnish. Thus, a careful and at the same time very efficient prophylaxis. Also the result is impressive: pearly and smooth teeth. If this treatment should not be sufficient stained and darkened teeth may be aesthetically brightened with a bleaching.
Bleaching – the alternative Methods
Depending on the cause of the staining there will be three different bleaching methods.
Using a whitening gel you may bleach your teeth yourself. The gel exactly will be applied to the row of teeth and to a support rail adapted to the gum line – which before was made by the dentist using an impression. This rail prevents that the bleaching agent will cause damages to the gum. After insertion of the rail you simply let the whitening gel apinge during nighttime. Depending on the degree of the requested brightening the procedure may be repeated for five to ten times. However, bleaching agents for at home exclusively should be applied after an examination and advice and under supervision of the dentist. The gums may react very sensitive at improper and mainly too frequent application. Branded products for teeth brightening are no cosmetics but medical production according to the medical products law. They only should be applied within a dental office or under the dentist’s supervision at home. Since the bleaching dehydrates the tooth this could cause a more or less pronounced hypersensitivity or spontaneous pain responses of the treated teeth. But, as a rule, this will stop after a short time after immediate interruption of the treatment. Thus, with a predisposition to thermal sensitivity (hot-cold-sensitivity) prior the bleaching absolutely a hardening using fluorides and calcium should be applied to your teeth and if a sensitivity already was occurring the gel should be applied to the brightened enamel. Please ask our assistants. In our oral hygiene shop we will have the appropriate gel for you.
Office-Bleaching (Power Bleaching)
Office bleaching means, that the teeth will be treated in the dentist’s office. Firstly, the teeth will be examined in detail and thoroughly cleaned while an oral hygiene session. Once this is done, a concentrated gel will be applied directly to the teeth. In doing so, the gums will be protected by a thin plastic layer. For the bleaching the teeth must not be ground – thus, the healthy dental substance absolutely will be maintained. Therefore, you can name this procedure the minimum invasive treatment in dentistry. The brightening result often will be stable for several years and even after this, the teeth will be brighter than before. If they again will darken after some time without problems a booster treatment may be performed.
By the help of this method it is possible from a root canal treatment grey stained teeth using a stronger concentrated bleaching agent to provide them with a higher hue. For this purpose, the tooth will be drilled, the filling removed and the bleaching agent filled. Afterwards the tooth will be exposed to a strong light source. Thereafter a sunken plastic filling will be placed. As a rule, the bleaching of teeth with devitalized roots is successful and lasts for some years.
How long lasts a Bleaching?
After the extreme bleaching brightened teeth stay colour stable for different periods of time – in general, about three months up to five years. The effect of internal bleached teeth very often lasts longer.