Bleaching can be useful to eliminate changes in the colour of the teeth (dyschromia) due to: systemic diseases or treatment with certain antibiotics, unfavourable genetic characteristics, smoking, ageing, and consumption of certain foods and drinks such as coffee, tea, liquorice, and artificial colourings.
The products commonly used for teeth bleaching mainly contain hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, used in various concentrations depending on the technique adopted and the patient’s needs.
Bleaching works thanks to the fact that hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide release oxygen when they come into contact with the teeth. These oxygen molecules break down the molecules of the pigments responsible for the change in colour, thus making it invisible.
Dental bleaching works only on natural teeth and not on crowns, fillings or other restoration material present in the oral cavity.
After a bleaching session, crowns and fillings might be more visible due to the fact that they no longer match the colour of the natural teeth. If this is the case, the restoration elements can be replaced with new materials matching the colour of the bleached teeth.
Several tooth bleaching methods are available. Regular cleaning and debridement sessions every 6-12 months are of paramount importance, but our dental practice also offers professional bleaching treatments for aesthetic purposes.
The most common technique is performed directly in the dental practice and is therefore called “chairside bleaching”. It is based on the action of high-concentration chemical bleaching agents, made more powerful by special lamps that help the chemicals penetrate the teeth.
The dentist can also prepare trays made of soft silicon for at-home bleaching, which perfectly reproduce the shape of the patient’s dental arches. The trays hold the right amount of whitening gel – such as carbamide peroxide – and are then applied to the teeth. They are kept in place for a variable amount of time (depending on the dentist’s guidelines) and the operation is repeated every day for about one week in order to achieve excellent bleaching results (comparable to those of chairside bleaching).