Top frequently asked questions about bleaching
A lot of people do it. And many clinics offer it. But not everyone succeeds. Bleaching is not an easy endeavor and it requires appropriate training, a lot of experience and high-quality equipment. For over decade the Munich dental clinic Dr. Pink | Dr. Wolferstaetter | Colleagues have
been working successfully with high-quality bleaching systems, and the results have proven they are doing it right. That is a good reason to answer the top frequently asked questions about bleaching.
Why do the teeth discolor over time in the first place?
There are two basic types of tooth discoloration: intrinsic (inner) and extrinsic (outer). Intrinsic discolorations are connected to the initial structure of the teeth and can be congenital or acquired. Alone the genetics can be a reason of the structure and quality of the enamel. Age is also a crucial factor; with increasing loss of enamel, the teeth appear more transparent and the dentin becomes more visible. Among the acquired factors are discolorations, caused by long-term amalgam fillings, excessive fluoride doses in childhood, incorrect or protracted antibiotic doses or avital teeth.
Extrinsic discolorations are primarily caused by environmental influences, e.g. the absorption of colorants in food (red berries, licorice, pumpkin, chocolate), spices (curry, saffron, turmeric), beverages (red wine, black tea, coffee) or the consumption of tobacco products. A very important factor is also a lack of dental hygiene. If absorbed coloring substances are not removed regularly by brushing and professional tooth cleaning, they can become deposited in the dentin and cause discoloration of the teeth.
Which bleaching options and systems exist?
The bleaching at the Dental Clinic Dr. Pink | Dr. Wolferstaetter | Colleagues is always individually adjusted to the patient. And for that we selected two methods: we classify between “home bleaching”, which is performed at home, and “chairside bleaching” carried at our Dental Clinic.
In “home bleaching”, thin, transparent splints are produced for a patient. Over a period of 7 to 14 days, bleaching gel is applied daily in a thin layer to the splints, it’s inserted into the mouth and carried there for one hour a day.
Whereas in “chairside bleaching” we evenly apply gum protection at first to ensure an optimal covering and protection of the gums and oral mucosa. Once it’s hardened, the bleaching gel is applied and is evenly spread on a tooth (1-2 mm/tooth). Afterwards the teeth are irradiated with a special UV lamp made by zoom®. This procedure can be repeatedly performed 2-3 times, depending on the result and the patient’s requirements. Finally, the bleaching gel is thoroughly aspirated and rinsed. After the gum protection has been carefully removed, the teeth are remineralized by a soothing gel.
How does bleaching work?
The main active ingredient in bleaching is hydrogen peroxide, which is applied to the teeth in the form of a bleaching gel with a concentration of 25%. The hydrogen peroxide penetrates superficially into the tooth and releases oxygen radicals when irradiated by a UV lamp. These in their turn can chemically influence and whiten the pigments stored in the tooth so that they no longer have a color.
Which bleachers do you use at Dental Clinic Dr. Pink | Dr. Wolferstaetter | Colleagues?
In the dental clinic Dr. Pink | Dr. Wolferstaetter | Colleagues we work with two high-quality bleaching manufacturers. The zoom® system is performed with the help of a Philips ZOOM® White Speed LED lamp, which allows us to use tooth gels with a lower hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) dosage. At out Dental Clinic we use a gel with a concentration of H2O2 of only 25%, which has been proven to reduce tooth sensitivity. If the treatment does not have the desired effect after 2 -3 sessions or the discolorations happen to be extremely strong, Dr. Pink and Dr. Wolferstaetter apply the Boost! system. It is power bleaching with hydrogen peroxide concentration of 40%.
What are the requirements for bleaching procedure?
Every bleaching procedure should be preceded by a clinical inspection of the oral cavity by the dentist and, as a second step, by professional tooth cleaning. The patient’s dental status, e.g. such exposed tooth necks or prosthetic procedures that should not be whitened, is documented in advance in a patient’s case. The requirement for successful bleaching is a healthy oral origin, which means that the gums must be healthy and that no untreated carious defects or leaking filling margins can be found. During professional tooth cleaning, plaque, tartar and superficial discolorations are removed so that nothing stands in the way of a successful bleaching result.
What about the risks and side effects?
If a patient has a good oral condition and the bleaching is carried out by a dental hygiene expert, the risks are close to zero. A temporary hypersensitivity of the teeth can – but does not have to – always be mentioned as a side effect. The risk of it depends on the concentration of the bleacher and the duration or repetition of procedure. The Dental Clinic Dr. Pink | Dr. Wolferstaetter | Colleagues therefore work with a relatively low concentration of 25% hydrogen peroxide and a powerful UV lamp. Furthermore, a maximum of 3 sessions is recommended. In order for the teeth to completely regenerate after bleaching as quickly as possible, our patients receive the unique and patented Philips® Relief ACP Oral Care Gel for dental care at home.
Is bleaching safe?
Usually the quality and the extent of bleaching are essential. In the Dental Clinic Dr. Pink | Dr. Wolferstaetter | Colleagues, only two high-quality systems (Boost! and Zoom®) are applied. Even though particularly gentle techniques are used, each bleaching procedure removes moisture and minerals from the teeth. In order for the teeth to regenerate completely as quickly as possible, the teeth are remineralized in advance (at the Clinic) and at home the patient take care of his teeth on his own with a high-quality dental gel we provide.
By how many shades can teeth be whitened?
The professional dental research confirms: the expected change is not predictable. Too many factors play a role: tooth status of a patient, oral hygiene, hypersensitivity, nature of the enamel, bleaching gel concentration, material, equipment, etc.
In the Dental Clinic Dr. Pink | Dr. Wolferstaetter | Colleagues all these factors are taken into consideration in order to guarantee the patient a balanced and natural teeth whitening.
How long does teeth whitening last?
The requirements for a long-lasting result are on the one hand high quality of bleaching procedures, and on the other hand the quality and quantity of the patient’s oral hygiene, as well as their individual consumption habits.
The recommendation of Dental Clinic Dr. Pink | Dr. Wolferstaetter | Colleagues is to take a break of approx. 2 years after a “chairside bleaching”. On the one hand, the result should last that long, and on the other hand, the teeth need the time to completely remineralize again. If the patient wishes to have an earlier session, we offer a special solution: one year after the “chairside bleaching” a “hom bleaching” plan is prepared for the patient, which is then performed every few months. Or the patient gets a “gentle” after-bleaching (with only 10% hydrogen peroxide concentration) and a preceding professional tooth cleaning before the end of the two years.
Further information about bleaching at our Dental Clinic Dr. Pink | Dr. Wolferstaetter | Colleagues in Munich can be found on our bleaching page.