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Tooth Whitening

What Is It ?

Tooth whitening is a procedure that lightens teeth and helps to remove stains and discoloration. Whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can significantly improve the appearance of your teeth at much less cost and inconvenience than other techniques. Every day, a thin coating will form on your teeth and it picks up stains. Also, the outer layer of each tooth, called the enamel, contains pores that can hold stains. Hence whitening is not a one-time solution. It will need to be repeated periodically if you want to maintain the brighter color.

What It’s Used For

The most common reasons for using whitening are: –

Yellow or stained teeth (tobacco, tea and coffee)

Intrinsic stains- stains that are inside the tooth.

Intrinsic stains can be caused by exposure to too much fluoride as a child while teeth are developing. Other causes include tetracycline antibiotics taken during the second half of pregnancy or given to children 8 years old or younger when the teeth are still developing.

Tooth whitening is most effective on surface stains caused by age, foods or drinks.


Cavities need to be treated before teeth are whitened because the whitening solution can penetrate decay and reach inner areas of the tooth, which can cause sensitivity. Also, whitening will not work on exposed tooth roots, because roots do not have an enamel layer. Whitening also does not work on crowns or veneers.

Whitening can be done in the dental office or at home. For in-office whitening, your dentist probably will photograph your teeth, which will help him/her to monitor how the treatment is progressing. Whitening in the office may involve two to six visits of approximately 45 minutes each.

He/she also will examine your teeth and ask you questions to determine the type and severity of staining. When the examination is complete, the dentist will clean your teeth. Once this is completed, the whitening procedure begins.

For whitening at home, your dentist will direct you to use custom trays that are made in the dental office and fit your teeth precisely. Home whitening usually takes two to three weeks. You should talk to your dentist about using these products, and use them according to directions to avoid overuse and possible damage to your teeth and mouth.

Am I a Candidate for Tooth Whitening ?

Almost anyone whose permanent teeth have come in can qualify for tooth whitening. Your dentist will be able to assess your oral health and recommend the whitening method that’s best for you.

How safe is Tooth Whitening ?

Over a decade of research has proven bleaching and other whitening methods to be both safe and effective. Several products in the market today have shown no adverse effects on teeth or gums in substantial clinical and laboratory testing. Be sure to look for clinically proven products, follow directions and consult with your dental professional.

Sensitivity may occur in people after whitening procedures, when they eat hot or cold foods, but usually disappears after 48 hours and stops completely when treatment is stopped.

In a few cases, your dentist may discourage dental bleaching:

  • If you have gum disease, teeth with worn enamel, cavities or particularly sensitive teeth
  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding
  • If you have tooth-colored crowns, caps or other dental work in your front teeth, which can’t be bleached

Porcelain Laminate Veneers have revolutionized cosmetic dentistry. Their conservative non-invasive approach to create spectacular smiles within as little  as 2 sittings has made them the most popular of cosmetic dentistry.

Am I a Candidate for Porcelain Laminate Veneers (PLVs)?

We live in a beauty centrist society and PLVs have come along just in time to meet the needs of our patients who perceive that an attractive smile is no longer a luxury but a necessary part of their lifestyles.

You require PLVs if you have :

Unsightly spaces between your teeth

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Can also be applied when:

  • Rotated and crooked teeth
  • Minimal Visibility of the Teeth when smiling

Advantages :

  • The amount of reduction required is ultra conservative and minimal, as the thickness of the PLVs can be kept to a minimal of just 0.3 mm.
  • PLV’s are translucent just like your natural teeth and have the inherent quality to reflect, refract, disperse and absorb light similar to your natural tooth. This imparts increased vitality and brilliance to your perfectly designed smile.
  • The PLV has a highly polished, non-porous, glazed surface which prevents and deters plaque accumulation. This allows the gums around your veneers to stay in the “Pink” of health.
  • They do not discolor or stain.
  • The PLVs have a contact lens effect hence merging into the tooth so one cannot distinguish the laminate from your natural tooth; therein lies the beauty of your bonded veneers.

You require only 2 office visits. The teeth will be prepared and an impression made in the first visit. During the 2nd visit they will be tried and fused (bonded) to the enamel. Once bonded, this Porcelain Laminate Veneer becomes an integral part of your tooth and is as strong as your natural teeth.

Types of Veneers we offer our patients :

1.Pressed ceramics

           EmpressT Ivoclar

           Cergo PressT Dentsply

Why Pressed Ceramics ?

  • The marginal fit of the pressed veneer is by far the best
  • Aesthetics is excellent because of translucency similar to enamel
  • Ultra conservative minimal /no preparation required Has good clinical success record of more than 15yrs
  • Excellent long lasting seal once bonded

2. ProceraT Nobel Biocare Laminate veneers

They are the strongest available veneers today. They mask discolored teeth the best. Once bonded, they achieve extremely good results.

You require laminates if you have:

  • Unsightly spaces between your teeth
  • Discolored teeth (Tetracycline stained, fluorosed teeth – chalky white or brown stained, non-vital discolored tooth etc.)
  • Worn down and chipped teeth
  • Rotated and crooked teeth

Advantages :

  • These veneers are more economical than PLVs
  • They are done directly in the mouth
  • Require a single sitting

Note: Though composite laminate veneers are extremely esthetic, the PLV are superior in esthetics and longevity.

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