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Teeth Whitening or Bleaching
This is a cosmetic treatment in which a chemical bleaching agent is used to whiten or lighten the teeth surfaces. this is a very widely done treatment for discolored or stained teeth. Various cases in which this is indicated are nicotine stains in smokers and tobacco users, caffeine (tea or coffee) stains, discoloration due to medication. Also other cases like discoloration of the enamel due to aging responds very well to bleaching.
There are two main types of whitening :
Office bleach - In this the procedure is carried out by a dentist in a professional dental setup. This is completely monitored and completed in a single sitting. The medication is applied on the teeth surfaces after proper soft tissue isolation and the process is catalyzed using a bleaching light to enhance and speed up the treatment. If done properly this can give exceptional result which can last for a long time.
Home bleach - In this technique customized trays are fabricated which the patient has to wear overnight with the medication to bleach the teeth. in this technique patient compliance and cooperation is very essential to achieve satisfactory results. This can also be utilized in some patients as a maintenance therapy after the office bleach.
If the bleaching technique is followed accurately with all the adequate precautions it can significantly whiten or lighten the teeth. This greatly enhances the smile and confidence of the patient. However it is very essential to follow the doctor's instructions post- bleaching. This includes avoiding any colored drinks like coke, Pepsi, red wine, black coffee etc. Also any food containing color should be avoided like Indian curries containing turmeric.