Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bleaching / Whitening Teeth / Pemutihan Gigi

What is tooth whitening?
Tooth whitening is the process by which the discolorations of the enamel are lightened.

How long will it last?
This will depend on the patient, and the patient's oral habits. The average person will require periodic touch ups once or twice a year.

Is the treatment safe?
Yes. Clinical studies have shown that bleaching under the supervision of a dentist is safe for teeth and gums.

How white will my teeth get?
This will depend on your teeth - everyone's teeth are different. If your teeth are heavily stained from coffee or smoking, you will probably see a big change. If your teeth are not heavily stained, the change will not be as great.

How does tooth whitening work?
The active ingredient (hydrogen peroxide) is broken down, allowing oxygen to enter the enamel and dentin, causing the stains to be lightened.

What causes teeth to discolor?
There are many causes of tooth discoloration. Some of the most common include the consumption of highly colored foods (beetroot, candy etc) and drinks (coffee, sodas, red wine). Antibiotics consumed at an early age, natural aging, smoking and trauma can also add to discoloration.

Do all teeth whiten evenly?
There is an overall whitening of all teeth. The biting edges of the teeth are more likely to whiten faster than the areas adjacent to the gum.

Are there any side effects?
For the majority of patients there are none. However, some will experience temporary sensitivity (dull or sharp) on the teeth and/or gums. This will subside after several hours of stopping the treatment. The wear times can be shortened or made less frequent or a topical desensitizing toothpaste or gel can be used. Abstain from carbonated drinks, citrus foods and beverages to avoid sensitivity for a few hours after treatment.

Are there any long term effects?
The active ingredient in the process is hydrogen peroxide which breaks down to water and oxygen. Dentists have been using hydrogen peroxide for over 50 years to whiten teeth, and there have been no known long term adverse effects.

How long does the 'In Office Bleaching' procedure take?
The entire process takes about one hour.

What causes teeth to stain again after bleaching?
The same things that made them stain in the first place, ie general aging, red wine, smoking, tea, coffee, colored foods etc.

How often do you have to get your teeth whitened?
Once your teeth are whitened it usually lasts 1-3 years, however some people prefer to have touch-ups every 6-12 months.

Is it better to get whitening treatment now or wait until my teeth are more stained?
It is better to get it done now as the stains will become worse and darker. The teeth will then require more applications of bleach as stains will be harder to remove.

Are my teeth more easily stained now that they have been whitened?
No, the chance of staining your teeth are not increased once they have been whitened, if you follow the post treatment care instructions given by your dentist.

Will my crowns, veneers and fillings get whiter?
No, only your natural teeth will.

Is it safe to whiten my teeth if I am pregnant or lactating?
No studies have been done so we advise pregnant or lactating women not to undergo bleaching.