CAUSES OF TOOTH DISCOLORATION
Tooth discoloration or tooth darkening is caused by different factors:
Teeth tend to darken as people get older.
FOOD, DRINK, SMOKING AND OTHER FACTORS
Teeth discoloration can also be attributed to some vegetables, wine, tea and coffee or agents such as chlorhexidine and tobacco.
There are some cases where teeth whitening treatments are not suitable. Teeth whitening will not improve the following: changes in the enamel caused by antibiotics, an excess of fluoride or enamel formation defects.
A visit to carry out a full diagnosis is important in order to determine how healthy the teeth and gums are and evaluate how effective and successful the treatment would be. Photos are taken before and after treatment and colour guides are used to decide the initial and final colours and evaluate the evolution of the treatment.
TEETH WHITENING PROCESS
Teeth are whitened by applying a peroxide gel onto the surface of the teeth. The gel releases oxygen thereby eliminating the pigmented molecules on the external face of the enamel and lightening the colour of the teeth. It is important to point out, however, that although the teeth are whitened, the final colour cannot be guaranteed given that the process depends on many factors.
The whitening process does not harm the teeth although in some cases the enamel might become temporarily sensitive. The whitening effect does not interfere with resin, ceramic or metal restorations.
The whitening agents vary in strength and the strongest ones are applied under clinical supervision.
OUTPATIENT WHITENING TREATMENT
The whitening treatment is carried out by the patient at home using teeth whitening trays. The patient follows the odontologist’s instructions and comes to the clinic for regular check-ups.
The final colour achieved and the durability of the whitening process is similar using both methods.
WHITENING TREATMENTS AT THE CLINIC
At CLINICA LLUCH we use the Zoom technique (currently the most popular in the USA). Zoom is a teeth whitening lamp which immediately activates the whitening process. It usually takes place during a two-hour session and the results are immediately noticeable. Prior to the session, moulds of the patient’s mouth are taken and these are used to make mouth trays. The mouth trays contain hydrating and desensitising agents which the patient uses at home for two days following treatment or longer if more whitening agent is needed.