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Cosmetic Dentistry & Smile Design

Tooth Whitening (Bleaching)

There are three types of tooth whitening methods in clinical practice: Home bleaching, office bleaching and combined in-office and take-home bleaching.

Office bleaching is performed by the dentist. The bleaching that is performed by the dentist is faster and has better results compared to home bleaching. Office bleaching takes an average of one or two sessions.

In home bleaching method, the dentist takes an impression, prepares a transparent plate and delivers a bleaching gel to be used for the plate. The patient uses this plate for 1-3 weeks in accordance with the instructions of the dentist.

Combined bleaching includes both home and office bleaching methods. This method is more appropriate for the patients who have teeth with persistent discoloration.

Important Notes About Tooth Whitening:

- Crowns, fillings are not affected by the bleaching process. Therefore, tooth whitening has to be performed before other aesthetic treatments when smile design is planned.

- Cleaning of dental calculus (see Scaling) before tooth whitening will enable teeth and gums to be healthier and increase the effectiveness of whitening.

- To increase the colour stability of tooth whitening, instructions of the physician have to be followed carefully.

- Depending on a person's diet and oral hygiene habits, tooth whitening renewal may be necessary in a period of  6 months – 2 years.

Single Tooth Whitening:

It is a different technique usually applied to a single discolored tooth with a former root canal treatment. In this technique, the whitening gel is applied into the tooth and the crown is covered with a temporary filling. This process is repeated until the desired color is achieved.

Keywords: whitening, bleaching, tooth whitening, home bleaching, office bleaching, single tooth whitening, smile design