Teeth whitening is a technique used to lighten the natural color of teeth.
There are three types of whitening:
- Whitening in the chair (at the dentist);
- Whitening at home;
- Internal whitening, on a tooth that has previously received a root canal treatment (see internal whitening).
The whitening treatment consists of applying a peroxide based product to the surface of the targeted teeth using pre-molded plastic trays, or molded closely to the shape of the patient’s teeth. The product penetrates the enamel of the teeth and an oxidation process causes the stains to burst, just like when you do the laundry. The process is safe and does not damage the teeth. The use of specialized trays offers close contact with the teeth for optimal results.
There are over-the-counter whitening products on the market. These products are often composed of abrasive agents and whitening is achieved by removing a thin layer of enamel, which is dangerous for the teeth. Other products work with peroxide, but the permitted concentrations are insufficient to achieve satisfactory results.
There are also non-specialized centres that offer dental whitening (beauty centre, flea market). These centres do not have recognized infection control devices (sterilization of instruments, disinfection of surfaces, sterile saliva management devices) and may endanger the health of patients. In addition, this type of technique often causes a spectacular whitening by dehydration of the teeth. In addition to not being effective, teeth can become very painful after treatment.