What is bleaching and what is whitening?
It is an undeniable fact that whiter teeth make up a prettier smile. In California, patients in the Santa Rosa area know that when it comes to creating a beautiful smile, Dr. Harry Albers is the person to go to. One of the easiest ways to brighten up the teeth is to get a lightening treatment, usually done with either bleaching or whitening. Many people get confused between these two procedures, and it is important to understand each one before deciding on which one could benefit you the most.
Bleaching is described as the alteration of the natural color of the teeth to make them whiter with the help of bleaching substances. Tooth whitening is usually done for the removal of stains and other debris from the enamel so that the teeth become whiter, restoring their natural color. This procedure can also lighten teeth beyond their natural shade.
The teeth are comprised of two layers—the porcelain-like enamel that is the mineralized external layer; and dentin, which is the yellowish supporting layer under the enamel. As the enamel ages it becomes less frosty and more clear, it will begin to gradually expose the yellowish dentin layer which darkens over time. Accumulate stains that are brought on by food, colored drinks, smoking, and other factors such as tetracycline medications can darken the surface. Bleaching and whitening are effective in removing surface stains to make teeth lighter and brighter.
Bleaching and whitening products contain the active ingredient hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide (the bodies own form of hydrogen peroxide) that is applied onto the teeth surfaces. It releases oxygen and diffuse it into the stained areas of enamel.
If a patient thinks that bleaching or whitening is for them, it will be best to obtain advice from a dentist for a professional assessment of their particular condition. Dr. Harry Albers has been an expert to the profession on dental bleaching for over 25 years. These bleaching procedures work best for teeth that are stained or discolored yellow, brown or orange. This is usually from smoking, drinking coffee, tea, wine, or from aging. When teeth are discolored and acquire a yellow, orange, or brownish tint, they actually react better to the bleaching and whitening processes. However, if the patient’s teeth take on a grayish tint because they become stained by fluorosis or tetracycline medication, they will yield less remarkable results, possibly requiring the patient to seek another avenue to correct the condition. Additionally, if the patient has dental restorations such as dental crowns, bridges, or fillings installed that are unaffected by bleaching, they may need to have the restoration replaced in order to match the color of the rest if the patient’s newly lightened teeth.